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Why Pennsylvania Needs a Severance Tax

Pennsylvania is the only natural gas producing state that does not impose a severance tax on oil and gas. As it stands, Pennsylvania gas is

Pennsylvania is the only natural gas producing state that does not impose a severance tax on oil and gas. As it stands, Pennsylvania gas is being used by citizens in other states tax free while Pennsylvanians have to pay taxes on gas from other states.

Beginning with his campaign for governor in 2014, Governor Wolf has repeatedly called for the legislature to pass this common sense tax that has been adopted in states such as Texas, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. As The Morning Call describes:

“Every year since being in office, Wolf has proposed a severance tax on natural gas drillers who already pay an impact fee on wells.”

Republican opposition in Harrisburg is rooted in politics, not in the best interest of the state. Earlier this year, the Philadelphia Inquirer revealed that legislators have received over $60 million dollars from natural gas lobbyists.

Harrisburg Republicans have repeatedly thwarted the governor’s attempts of imposing a shale tax because they want to score political points. But Governor Wolf will not allow them to play games with the economic wellbeing of Pennsylvanians. This tax is common sense and would benefit Pennsylvanians while taxing big oil. In fact, the Independent Fiscal Office has said that 80% of the revenue raised by a severance tax would be paid by customers outside of Pennsylvania.

Unlike the Republicans, Governor Wolf would rather see Pennsylvania succeed than his opponents fail. A severance tax is the most reliable, common-sense means for balancing the state’s budget and putting more money into education. The Governor is devoted to continuing his fight for passing a severance tax.

Governor Wolf Puts More Money in the Pockets of Hardworking Pennsylvanians

Governor Wolf believes in a simple rule: you should be paid fairly for hard work. For far too long, workers in Pennsylvania have not been

Governor Wolf believes in a simple rule: you should be paid fairly for hard work.

For far too long, workers in Pennsylvania have not been getting paid fairly for working overtime. The state’s overtime pay rules haven’t been changed in 40 years. Governor Wolf changed that yesterday. As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:

“Gov. Tom Wolf announced his administration will roll out new labor rules that will increase overtime pay for about 460,000 workers in Pennsylvania who currently make too much to qualify for the time-and-a-half pay for extra hours worked.”

Because the state’s overtime rules did not adjust with inflation, a salaried worker whose earnings were below the poverty line still might not have been eligible for overtime pay. This meant that employees could be working upwards of 50 and 60 hours a week without earning time-and-a-half. Governor Wolf recognizes that the people of Pennsylvania deserve to get paid fairly in exchange for their hard work, but these outdated laws made that impossible.

So the governor took matters into his own hands and announced yesterday at The Fresh Grocer of Grays Ferry in Philadelphia alongside legislators, local elected officials, store management, staff, and local workers that he will raise the salary level which determines overtime eligibility.

Over four years, 460,000 people will see a wage increase. The threshold will also continue to update automatically every three years to ensure that it is constantly adjusting to inflation and not leaving any workers behind.

In addition to directly improving the lives of Pennsylvania’s workers, the changes are also expected to generate more competitive salaries and reduce turnover, thus keeping more high quality, high paying jobs in the state.

Governor Wolf understands the tangible impact updating overtime pay rules will have on Pennsylvanian families.

“It’s simple, if you work overtime, then you should get paid fairly for it. This important step will put more money into the pockets of hardworking people and will help expand the middle class in Pennsylvania.”

Governor Wolf Announces 307 New Jobs Coming to Pennsylvania

Governor Wolf kicked off the start of the new year with a major announcement – another company will expand its presence in Pennsylvania, spurring long

Governor Wolf kicked off the start of the new year with a major announcement – another company will expand its presence in Pennsylvania, spurring long term job creation and economic growth.

According to Penn Live:

“Gov. Tom Wolf announced Assurant will be expanding two of its facilities to support the growth of its mobile phone repair business. The company provides protection products, insurance services and customer support.”

Assurant will expand its two facilities in Manchester Township, York County and invest in computer equipment, workstations, furniture, and fixtures. This expansion will not only create 307 new jobs, but it will also retain 1,342 over the next three years.

The Department of Community and Economic Development ($250,000) provided the funding proposal, which included a $250,000 Pennsylvania First grant, $614,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs, and $138,150 in WEDnetPA funding for employee training.

This project was spearheaded by the Governor’s Action Team, which works with businesses that are considering locating to or expanding in Pennsylvania. The Governor’s Action Team has had great success over the past three years with Governor Wolf– completing more than 180 projects, securing commitments of more than $8.9 billion in private investments, and creating and retaining 84,000 jobs statewide, primarily in manufacturing sectors.

Governor Wolf remarked on this most recent success, saying that “Assurant’s expansion is another example of a company with long-term presence in Pennsylvania choosing to invest in its growth here for years to come. The jobs created with this project will be great news for York County workers, and the company’s continued growth will bring a significant boost to the local economy.”

Throughout his time in office, Gov Wolf has been committed to expanding businesses currently in Pennsylvania and attracting new businesses to the state as well. He recognizes that these investments will have positive impacts on Pennsylvania’s families and economy for years to come.

Governor Wolf Stands up for PA Medical Marijuana Patients

In April 2016, Governor Wolf signed a bipartisan bill that legalized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Since then, the Department of Health has worked diligently to

In April 2016, Governor Wolf signed a bipartisan bill that legalized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Since then, the Department of Health has worked diligently to implement the state’s medical marijuana program, which will improve the quality of life for patients and families throughout the state. Just last week, the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary in Bethlehem received the green light to begin selling.

Yet Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent announcement that the Trump administration will renew tough federal enforcement of marijuana laws, regardless of state laws, puts all of this progress in jeopardy. Governor Wolf wasted no time standing up to the Attorney General. As The Times describes:

“Gov. Tom Wolf and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale took U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to task Thursday for rescinding Obama administration directives that eased the enforcement of federal drug laws in states that had legalized marijuana.”

In the last year, Governor Wolf has sent three letters in an attempt to protect Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program– one to Attorney General Sessions, one to the Pennsylvania delegation, and one to Congressional leaders.

The governor emphasized that the actions of the Trump administration threaten the quality of life of Pennsylvanians who are desperate for relief, but that he will continue to do everything in his power to protect the medical marijuana program. He said,  “Despite backwards moves by the Trump administration, I will continue to protect cancer patients, kids with epilepsy, veterans with PTSD and all Pennsylvanians seeking relief from legal medical marijuana. In Pennsylvania, we legalized medical marijuana in an overwhelming and bipartisan fashion, and we are months away from getting this medicine to patients that need it.”

Governor Wolf is steadfast in his commitment to standing up to the Trump administration and fighting tirelessly for the rights of the people of Pennsylvania to obtain medical relief and an improved quality of life through legal medical marijuana.