During his Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Budget Address, Governor Wolf discussed minimum wage, small business funding, job creation, and workforce development
Philadelphia, PA – February 3, 2021 – State Senator Christine Tartaglione released the following statement in response to the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Budget Address delivered today by Governor Tom Wolf during a joint session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly:
“I have long fought within the General Assembly for policies that improve the lives of Pennsylvania’s workers, their families, and their communities. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, these priorities are more important now than they have ever been. I applaud Governor Wolf for incorporating my agenda into the administration’s proposals, and for sharing my vision of a Commonwealth defined by equality and opportunity for all.
“With approximately 5 million Pennsylvanians having filed for unemployment benefits since March, we must focus on putting people back to work. I fully support the new round of small business assistance requested by the governor as well as his recommendation that Pennsylvania reinvest federal pandemic funding into remediating toxic materials in our schools. Projects like those will keep our school children safe and create good-paying jobs.
“The governor and I agree it is vital that Pennsylvania raise its minimum wage. The current rate, $7.25 an hour, amounts to a poverty wage. Raising the rate to $12 this year and $15 over the next six years will allow low-wage earners to work their way out of poverty while improving morale and productivity, and reducing their reliance on public assistance. As a result, my minimum wage legislation, SB 12, will also benefit employers, taxpayers, and our consumer economy. Importantly, it will help advance income equality for women and minorities.
“Our budget must serve the Commonwealth’s urgent job creation needs, but we must also look ahead and consider how we will help prepare Pennsylvanians for employment opportunities of the future. The governor’s proposed investment in a reformed workforce development system will enable Pennsylvanians to acquire marketable job skills and will help rebuild the middle class. And it will also help to remove the barriers to employment faced by many folks, such as transportation and childcare needs.
“Overall, I am very encouraged that Governor Wolf has prioritized sorely needed pandemic relief and recovery initiatives while reiterating his long-standing advocacy for the pro-worker and pro-family agenda that we share. I look forward to working with the administration and my legislative colleagues during the upcoming budget process to achieve these objectives.”
# # #
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact William Kenny at 215-533-0440 or William.Kenny@pasenate.com.