Governor Wolf Remains Committed to Investing in Our Kids’ Future

One of the hallmark commitments from Governor Wolf’s 2018-19 proposal was his call for increased funding for public education at all levels. Since Governor Wolf

One of the hallmark commitments from Governor Wolf’s 2018-19 proposal was his call for increased funding for public education at all levels. Since Governor Wolf took office, he has fully restored the $1 billion cuts to public education made in the previous administration that led to larger class sizes, teacher layoffs, and cuts to important programs like pre-k.

The Times Leader outlines the Governor’s record of investing in education:

“Wolf, a Democrat, campaigned in 2014 with promises to not only restore education cuts made under Gov. Tom Corbett, but to increase state money for public schools. Through it all, Wolf has managed to increase education spending, from about $12.8 billion in 2016-17 to $13.24 billion this fiscal year…”

The governor has also increased the number of children enrolled in pre-kindergarten by nearly 50 percent and enacted a fair funding formula to take the politics out of education funding.

Now Governor Wolf is ready to continue building on the progress from the past few years. He’s calling for an additional increase in education funding for basic education, early childhood development programs like Pre-K Counts and Head Start, Special Education, the State System of Higher Education, and Career and Technical Education.

For years Harrisburg politicians made education the first casualty of the budget. Governor Wolf has made it our first priority. “I have made it my mission to restore the cuts made to public education before I became governor and now we can further support our kids and our economy by making continued progress,” he said. “By driving more funding through our fair funding formula, we also further address the inequities in our local school funding system.”

Governor Wolf Continues Commitment to Government Transparency

Earlier this week, Governor Wolf continued his commitment to increasing government transparency and efficiency by signing House Bill 1175 into law. The Beaver County Times

Earlier this week, Governor Wolf continued his commitment to increasing government transparency and efficiency by signing House Bill 1175 into law. The Beaver County Times describes:

“Instead of giving candy to lobbyists on Valentine’s Day, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law a bipartisan bill streamlining lobbying disclosure report filings and increasing penalties for not timely filing them.”

The legislation will strengthen restrictions on lobbyists and special interests and will improve efficiency in the lobbying disclosure filing process. The bill received bipartisan support and passed the House and Senate unanimously, reflecting that reform is long overdue.

The new law will strengthen lobbying reporting rules in four key ways:

  1. It requires lobbyists, lobbying firms, or principals to file lobbying disclosure reports electronically.
  2. It increases the daily maximum penalty for not filing a report by the quarterly deadline
  3. It doubles the maximum penalty for not filing a lobbying disclosure reports by the quarterly deadline
  4. It requires the Department of State to post all lobbying disclosure reports online within seven days of receiving the filing

This is just the latest step taken by Governor Wolf towards reforming Harrisburg and creating a government that works for everyone. He said, “By cracking down on special interests, this bill will help to create a more open, honest and transparent government in Harrisburg that is accountable to the people of Pennsylvania.”

Since assuming office, Governor Wolf has also eliminated more than $2 billion in government waste, instituted a gift ban for members of his administration, required cabinet secretaries to post their expenses online, and passed comprehensive pension reform. He also donates his salary to charity and does not live in the governor’s mansion.

Governor Wolf Invests in a 21st Century Workforce

Governor Wolf’s 2018-19 budget proposal invests in workforce development and ensuring that students are able to compete in the 21st century job market. As the

Governor Wolf’s 2018-19 budget proposal invests in workforce development and ensuring that students are able to compete in the 21st century job market. As the Tribune-Review reports:

“Job training and college readiness were highlights of Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address Tuesday as he proposed a $40 million investment in a new program intended to bolster career and technical education programs across the state.”

The governor announced the launch of PAsmart– a program dedicated to realigning workforce development from K-12 education through career programs so that students and workers can gain the 21st Century skills necessary to get good jobs that employers demand.

This includes investing in STEM and computer science education at all levels, increasing the number of apprenticeships available, and developing public-private Industry Partnerships to provide job training.

The initiative also includes the launch of a new website to help people access information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania. Check it out here!

Governor Wolf knows that investing in workforce development has wide sweeping positive effects for Pennsylvania’s economy and families. “Developing a workforce that can compete and win in the 21st-century economy is the single best way to help Pennsylvania businesses grow – and attract new businesses to our commonwealth,” Governor Wolf said. “It’s also the single best thing we can do to help more of our people find better jobs – not just tomorrow, but today.”

Governor Wolf believes that all Pennsylvanians who put in an honest day’s work deserve a shot to make a good living. This most recent investment in workforce development gives workers the opportunity to gain the skills necessary to make that a reality.

Governor Wolf Rejects Republicans’ Latest Gerrymandering Attempt

Governor Wolf has rejected the partisan, unconstitutional congressional map proposed to him by Republican legislative leaders. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports: “Gov. Tom Wolf rejected a

Governor Wolf has rejected the partisan, unconstitutional congressional map proposed to him by Republican legislative leaders. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:

“Gov. Tom Wolf rejected a congressional map that top Republican lawmakers had proposed, saying it remains a partisan gerrymander drawn to benefit Republicans and does not comply with an order from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.”

Last month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the existing congressional map, which was drawn and adopted by Republicans, because it violated the state constitution guarantee that “elections shall be free and equal.” It instructed the state legislature to redraw a fair map and submit it to Governor Wolf for approval.

Instead, two Republican legislative leaders got together to draw a map that was just as gerrymandered as the previous one and submitted it to Governor Wolf without bringing it to a vote in the General Assembly.

Governor Wolf maintained from the start that he would reject any unfair map presented to him, and today he followed through on that promise. “Partisan gerrymandering weakens citizen power, promotes gridlock and stifles meaningful reform,” he said in a statement. “Their map clearly seeks to benefit one political party, which is the essence of why the court found the current map to be unconstitutional.”

Non-partisan analysts across the country agree that the Republican proposed map is still a partisan gerrymander. Governor Wolf also enlisted the help of Moon Duchin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics at Tufts University, for analysis of the map. She concluded that, not only did the map have an extreme partisan skew, but it was also clear that it was intentionally designed to favor Republicans. She wrote, “There is no more than a 0.1% chance that a plan drafted to comply with the Court’s factors would have been as favorable to Republicans as is the proposed Joint Submission Plan.”

Governor Wolf knows that we need to end gerrymandering to bring a voice back to the people of Pennsylvania. Replacing gerrymandered maps with new gerrymandered maps is not the way to do that. The governor will continue his fight to ensuring that all Pennsylvanians get the fair and equal elections that they deserve.