Cephas calls governor's budget proposal a major step toward creating a more equitable Pennsylvania for working families

State Rep. Morgan Cephas is applauding Gov. Tom Wolf's budget proposal for Pennsylvania, calling it a major step toward building a more equitable society for all working families especially communities of color amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Since the beginning of this health crisis, we've seen firsthand how this deadly virus has adversely impacted children, women, local businesses and working families across the commonwealth. The governor's budget plan would help remove many of these unnecessary barriers by implementing substantial change using an equitable lens, starting with a massive tax break for the working class.

"First-and-foremost, a quality education provides a strong foundation for a child's future and should never be based on zip code but be accessible to all students. By making historic investments in our public schools and funneling all of it through the fair funding formula, we help close the digital divide and ensure children on our side of City Avenue receive the same resources as everyone else, giving them the best chance to succeed whether they're learning at home or in the classroom. 

"Along those same lines, the fact this proposal devotes ample funding to workforce development programs aids in our ongoing efforts to connect our young people with the skills they need to get a job and provide for themselves in a global economy. However, it must be good paying jobs, which is why it's imperative we raise the minimum wage to a livable one once and for all to $15 an hour, as laid out by the governor. 

"As vice chair of the Pennsylvania Women's Health Caucus, I understand women, specifically women of color, have disproportionately suffered pandemic-related job losses, and a major part of that has been due to COVID crippling child care centers. According to the recent report produced by the National Women’s Law Project, nearly 2.2 million women left the workforce due to the added pressures of the pandemic. The increased financial support proposed in this budget is vital to keep crucial services open and affordable so working mothers have a safe place to drop off their children and be able to still work to pay the bills and put food on the table.

"Criminal justice reform is truly the civil rights issue of our time, and I join the governor in fighting to build on our bipartisan efforts to prevent a single mistake from determining a person's future. Expanding on our Clean Slate law and imposing bail and probation reforms will help reduce recidivism and crime while strengthening our economy. 

"Moving forward, I will use my role as a member of the House Appropriations Committee to pass a budget that works for every Pennsylvanian and addresses issues that matter most to residents in West Philly, which includes reducing gun violence and maternal mortality along with delivering relief for the unemployed and aid to our commercial corridors to get them through COVID safely," said Cephas, D-Phila.