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Governor Wolf Announces Plans to Strengthen Pennsylvania Agriculture

Earlier this week, at the annual Ag Progress Days event held by Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, Governor Tom Wolf made a major announcement regarding the future of agriculture in Pennsylvania.

Earlier this week, at the annual Ag Progress Days event held by Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, Governor Tom Wolf made a major announcement regarding the future of agriculture in Pennsylvania.

As WJAC reports:

“Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled a six-point plan at AG Progress Days in Centre County County Wednesday to tackle issues facing the state’s agricultural challenges.”

His plan calls for an increased focus on:

  • Rebuilding and expanding the state’s infrastructure, including roads, bridges, ports and broadband;
  • Strengthening Pennsylvania’s workforce to ensure the next generation is prepared to lead;
  • Removing unnecessary regulatory burdens and strengthening the state’s business climate;
  • Establishing business ownership succession plans on the farm and throughout the food system
  • Creating more processing capabilities to accommodate a growing animal agriculture and protein sector

Building on these five points, Governor Wolf also added a sixth point– his plan to make Pennsylvania the nation’s leading organic state. U.S. organic food sales increased by $47 billion in 2017, and Governor Wolf believes that the commonwealth must take advantage of this burgeoning market. To achieve this, he will focus on raising awareness amongst producers, improving infrastructure and training, and facilitating the marketing aspects of organic produce.

These steps are all part of Governor Wolf’s commitment to strengthening Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry and cultivating the next generation of Pennsylvania farming. “My vision for the future of agriculture takes advantage of what’s special about Pennsylvania’s farms and food processors to set us apart on a global stage,” he said. “We see tremendous opportunities for Pennsylvania, including the opportunity to diversify our business and capitalize on marketing opportunities. And even though there is no shortage of challenges, I believe we are uniquely positioned to capitalize on our many existing strengths and chart a path toward a dynamic and prosperous farming economy in Pennsylvania.”

Governor Wolf Invests $16.5 Million into Erie Economy

Yesterday, while on a redevelopment walking tour of Erie, Governor Tom Wolf announced $16.5 million in funding for five projects in the county.

Yesterday, while on a redevelopment walking tour of Erie, Governor Tom Wolf announced $16.5 million in funding for five projects in the county. The governor lauded Erie’s economic redevelopment as an example of the positive outcomes of strategic partnerships between cities and the state.

“Since I became governor, I have worked hard to ensure that when state government is investing in our local communities, we are directing our resources towards projects that transform our cities, municipalities, and counties into more livable places to work and live,” he said.

The Erie Times News highlighted the investment into UPMC park, which is the largest of the projects:

“The home of the Erie SeaWolves will receive a long-overdue facelift thanks in large part to a $12 million state grant that’s been four years in the making.”

The additional projects are as follows:

  • $1 million to renovate the Avalon Hotel to turn it into an upscale Hilton Doubletree hotel.
  • $500,000 to renovate Elmwood Gardens, which provides seniors with independent living, personal care, skilled nursing, and short-term rehabilitation.
  • $1 million to construct a new Medical Arts facility for specialty doctors rotating in from LECOM’s hospital in Erie.
  • Construction of a 44,000-square-foot, 24-unit senior living center connected to the Medical Arts facility.

These projects will expand access to quality health care for Pennsylvanians by preventing them from having to drive long distances for care, improving the recruitment and retention of doctors and nurses in the area, and bolstering the local economy.

Throughout his time in office, Governor Wolf has made significant investments in the Erie region. These include:

  • The renovation of JMC Ice Arena.
  • The expansion of Disabled Veteran Solutions, a veteran-owned business that is focused on hiring veterans and military families and will create more than 200 new jobs.
  • A plan to connect downtown Erie to the waterfront to bring visitors from the Bayfront to the downtown area.
  • Various transportation, business development, and community revitalization projects all over the Erie region.

These moves have created hundreds of good, family sustaining jobs while spurring future job creation and development for the area. Governor Wolf remains committed to investing in local communities to support redevelopment and new opportunities.

What’s at Stake: Health Care

Governor Tom Wolf has taken action to protect access to quality health care for all Pennsylvanians.

Governor Tom Wolf has taken action to protect access to quality health care for all Pennsylvanians. He has:

  • Expanded Medicaid, giving an additional 720,000 Pennsylvanians the health care they need. including seniors in nursing homes and over 125,000 people who are suffering from substance use disorder.
  • Reduced Pennsylvania’s uninsured rate to its lowest point in history at 5.6%, well below the national average of 8.8%.
  • Increased enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program by 20%.
  • Legalized medical marijuana, providing long overdue medical relief to patients with serious medical conditions such as cancer & multiple sclerosis.
  • Made Pennsylvania a national leader in fighting the opioid epidemic.
  • Stood in the way of Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and destroy Medicaid, charge seniors more for their care, and strip protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Assured Pennsylvanians that he would veto the Republican bill that would ban abortions after 6 weeks.
  • Vetoed SB 3, the most anti-choice bill in the country. SB 3 criminalizes abortion and bans abortions after twenty weeks, leaving no exceptions for rape, incest, health or tragic fetal anomalies.
  • Stopped Republican attempts to defund Planned Parenthood.
  • Spoke out against the Trump administration’s gag rule, which would cut women off from critical health care services like birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, and even general women’s health exams.
  • Increased access to birth control by incentivizing hospitals to stock and store long-acting contraceptives.
  • Required that 3D mammograms be covered by insurance.

If Scott Wagner becomes governor, all of the work that Governor Wolf has done to protect affordable access to healthcare will be rolled back. With Wagner as governor:

  • Medicaid expansion would be rolled back, which would kick seniors out of nursing homes with nowhere to turn and strip health care from those suffering from substance use disorder.
  • There would be no one in the governor’s seat to stand up to Republicans’ attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, especially when it comes to stripping protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Pennsylvania would have a 6-week abortion ban. This would be the most restrictive abortion law in the country.  In fact, many women do not even know they are pregnant at 6 weeks.
  • Senate Bill 3 would  become law, which is a bill Governor Wolf has already vetoed.  SB 3 proposes a ban on abortions after twenty weeks, leaving no exceptions for rape, incest, health or tragic fetal anomalies.
  • The state would defund Planned Parenthood and prevent women across Pennsylvania from accessing important health care services like mammograms, other cancer screenings, and birth control.

What’s at Stake: Seniors’ Wellbeing

By 2025, more than one in five Pennsylvania residents will be 65 or older. Pennsylvania needs a governor that will protect seniors.

By 2025, more than one in five Pennsylvania residents will be 65 or older. Pennsylvania needs a governor that will protect seniors. Governor Wolf has:

  • Invested in senior community centers in order to upgrade technology and facilities to give the centers the resources needed to revitalize and expand the services that enrich the lives or our senior population.
  • Launched the Community HealthChoices program which helps to ensure seniors can age at home and receive quality care in their communities. This program has resulted in 50,000 additional seniors (a 41 percent increase) being able to age in their homes.
  • Stabilized the Lottery Fund, which supports important senior programs, including property tax and rent rebates, free transit and reduced-fare shared rides, low-cost prescription drug programs (PACE/PACENET), long-term living services, and Older Americans Act services.
  • Saved more than 180,000 seniors from losing their Medicare Advantage health plans.
  • Lowered prescription drug prices for seniors.
  • Supported efforts to modernize, improve, and address the critical problems with social security, without placing the program under private management.

Scott Wagner would be disastrous for our seniors. If he was governor, he would:

  • Roll back Medicaid expansion, which would strip health care from Pennsylvania’s seniors and kick them out of nursing homes with nowhere to turn.
  • Tax seniors’ retirement accounts.
  • Cut millions of dollars from the Department of Human Services, which would be devastating for senior citizens who rely on Medicaid Assistance for long-term care.
  • Allow seniors’ prescription drug costs to skyrocket.
  • Continue to disrespect seniors who have worked all their lives. Scott Wagner called seniors, “greedy.”