13 Feb Legislators Optimistic About Governor’s Budget
Scranton’s elected representatives are optimistic about the $34.1 billion budget Democratic Governor Tom Wolf unveiled last week in his annual budget address in Harrisburg.
The proposed 2019-20 budget focuses on building the strongest workforce in the nation to drive local economies. With a comprehensive package of programs and an overhaul of policies, the Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program will provide opportunities for Pennsylvanians from birth to retirement.
“Today, I present a comprehensive plan to help grow our economy by continuing to invest in our workforce,” said Governor Wolf. “This plan calls on contributions from the business community, labor unions, educators, research institutions, students, parents, and adult workers. And it increases opportunity for every Pennsylvanian at every stage of life – from birth to retirement.”
Democratic State Senator John Blake expressed his support for the proposed budget. He said, “I applaud Governor Wolf for his continued dedication to the issues and programs that matter most to all Pennsylvania residents. The 2019-20 state budget continues to prioritize the importance of a quality public education; the need to develop and maintain a skilled workforce; and the urgency with which we need to combat the statewide opioid crisis.”
Democratic State Representative Marty Flynn plans to use his seat on the House Appropriations Committee to explore the proposal further. He said, “I will be able to get an in-depth look at how the overall spending plan would affect each department’s budget during three weeks of public hearings at the state Capitol. I look forward to learning more about the governor’s budget and how it will improve the lives of people in the Scranton area.”
“It was encouraging to hear the governor talk about workforce development, supporting education at all levels and continuing investments that empower businesses to create good-paying jobs,” said Democratic State Representative Kyle Mullins.
A core component of the governor’s plan is the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center, which brings together agency heads and public and private sector experts in a unique approach to finding solutions that connect skilled workers with good jobs that employers need today and in the future.
The governor’s budget expands access to early childhood education, increases investments in schools, and partners with the private sector to build on the PAsmart initiative, launched last year as a groundbreaking approach to workforce development.