Frankel welcomes Wolf's proposed increases for education, opioid treatment

HARRISBURG, Feb. 6 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, is welcoming the proposed funding increases for education and opioid treatment in the budget plan Gov. Tom Wolf fully unveiled today, as well as his renewed call for a severance tax on natural-gas drilling.

Frankel said: "We've made so much progress in Governor Wolf's three years in restoring the Corbett-Republican education cuts to K-12 education and our state-owned and state-related universities, including Pitt. But there's more to do. And I'm glad to see the governor will be calling for tens of millions of dollars in new funding to build on the work we've already done to tackle the heroin and opioid crisis – we can't count on the Trump administration to deliver anything more than words on that front. Some of the counties hit hardest by the heroin and opioid crisis are in southwestern Pennsylvania, and Governor Wolf continues to recognize how important addressing it is to our region.

"Governor Wolf is also right to call again for passing a commonsense severance tax on natural-gas drilling to help meet our needs such as education and balancing our budget. All other major natural-gas states – including neighboring Ohio and West Virginia – have such a tax. It's only right for Pennsylvania families to have the same measure of fairness, by having these companies pay their fair share of taxes here."