HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Governor Tom Wolf outlined his 2021 agenda for the commonwealth, which the administration says will prioritize a path towards recovery for all Pennsylvanians following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor will give the state budget proposal in front of the General Assembly the first week of February. Wolf says his proposal focuses on three key points.
The first focus is getting Pennsylvania back on track beyond the pandemic.
As COVID-19 continues to have negative consequences for businesses and workers across state, Governor Wolf says to get back on track, the General Assembly needs to make major targeted investments to strengthen the economy and support small business and rebuild infrastructure to get back to financial security.
Do to so, Wolf says he will propose a myriad of things including: allocating $145 million to support businesses, raise minimum wage, invest in schools quality of education, focus on the safety of children by removing hazardous metals like lead out of schools, increase broadband across the commonwealth, implement flood and hazard mitigation programs, repair bridges, roads and mass transit as well as create an innovative green infrastructure.
“To get Pennsylvania back on track from the disruptions the pandemic is causing, we need to make major, targeted investments to strengthen our economy, support workers and small business owners, rebuild our infrastructure, and help all Pennsylvanians build a path to financial security,” Wolf said.
The second focus of Wolf’s proposal is increasing bipartisanship in the state. Wolf touted the issues the state has tackled through bipartisanship such as pension reform, the Clean Slate Law and legalizing medical marijuana. Wolf said the General Assembly, from both sides, worked together on these issues to make Pennsylvania better and there are more issues for both sides to tackle together.
Wolf said he wants both sides of the aisle to come together on issues such as legalizing adult-use cannabis, reduce the corporate net income tax and close the Delaware Loophole.
The third focus of the budget proposal is changing the culture of Harrisburg into one that Pennsylvanians feel they can trust and that officials have their constituents best interest at heart.
The administration will do so by proposing gift bans for all elected officials, limit campaign spending and require public officials to submit receipts for spending with tax payer dollars.
Along with those issues, the governor says he wants to change Pennsylvanian’s trust in elections and voting.
To do so he has proposed to allow pre-canvassing to increase the speed and efficiency of counting ballots and reduce the window for misinformation, same day voter registration to allow voters to go to their precinct, register and vote all in one visit, and strengthening voter intimidation restrictions voters to feel safe from intimidation when casting their ballot. Wolf says legislation should be passed to prohibit firearms from being allowed in all polling locations.