Hohenstein responds to governor's state budget proposal

The priorities in a government’s budget reveal a lot about our character as a society and whether we are willing to take care of all our people. The budget proposed by Governor Wolf reveals that he is motivated to take care of our kids, working families, and small businesses – the people who (in the words of Jimmy Stewart in the classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”) “do most of the working and paying and living and dying” in the Commonwealth. 

For the 177th district, the governor’s budget and tax fairness policies would mean that more than half of our families pay $0 in state income taxes. Most of the rest of the district will not see any increase in taxes at all. Small businesses will also benefit from reduction in the taxes that most impact them. 

The governor also demonstrated a renewed commitment to our kids and their access to quality education from kindergarten to college. I have long called for a greater share of education dollars being distributed under the Fair Funding Formula, which levels the playing field for Philadelphia schools. This budget moves in that direction more than any other before it.

Also, the Governor is proposing programs to make higher education more affordable. He understands the need to give our kids the tools to succeed in an ever-changing world. Investments in education are investments in the future and this budget moves us forward. 

We still have a long way to go. The governor’s budget is not perfect. Affordable housing remains on the sideline. I believe that housing is a human right and that making sure we provide housing security to everyone – especially during a pandemic – makes sense on public health and economic grounds. 

However, as a whole, the governor's plan is sound and fiscally responsible. If we pass it, we will stop the practice that has characterized the past several years of robbing Peter to pay Paul. I am committed to fiscal responsibility and will not support practices like raiding the tobacco fund intended for public health expenditures or ignoring our public pension responsibilities to state and school district employees. 

Our children are our future and I refuse to mortgage that future because we cannot balance income and expenses.