Hanna applauds governor for budget address

LOCK HAVEN -Gov. Tom Wolf’s his fourth budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly was clear and concise, State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Lock Haven, said.

Hanna said Wolf’s plan prioritizes creating middle-class jobs that pay family-sustaining wages, builds on the past three state budgets by boosting investments in education and protects thousands of vulnerable citizens.

“Governor Wolf’s proposal was straightforward and commonsense,” Hanna said. “It provides for good jobs, quality schools and puts Pennsylvanians first. All policies that coincide with the House Democratic Caucus’ Plan for Pennsylvania.”

The governor’s budget proposal invests in our schools to move our economy forward and funds workforce development initiatives such as manufacturing and career and technical programs so that students can be prepared for the most in-demand jobs of the 21st century. It also supports a living wage and job security for Pennsylvania workers and continues to fight the opioid epidemic that has affected every corner of our state.

“Governor Wolf ran his campaign on the notion that he would restore the devastating cuts to education made by the previous administration,” Hanna said. “Not only has he fulfilled that commitment, he has surpassed expectations.”

This budget proposal allocates an additional $225 million to improve education for every student across the state as follows: $100 million for basic education funding, $20 million for special education, $30 million for Pre-K Counts, $10 million for Head Start, $40 million for PAsmart (STEM– science, technology, engineering and math, and computer science-related education), $10 million for career and technical education and $15 million for PASSHE.

“As a member of the PASSHE Board of Governors, I am especially pleased that the governor has proposed investing an additional $15 million in the 14 universities that make up the State System of Higher Education,” Hanna said.

Hearings of the House Appropriations Committee to review the budget plan will begin later this month.