Kinsey: Wolf budget rooted in reality; refocuses attention to education

HARRISBURG, March 3 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey today voiced support for Gov. Tom Wolf’s state budget proposal, unveiled this morning during a special joint session of the General Assembly.

Wolf’s budget seeks to restore cuts to basic education with a four-year commitment to increase funding by $2 billion, while cutting the average homeowner’s property taxes by 50 percent and reducing the total tax burden on middle-class families.

“Governor Wolf’s plan is rooted in reality and acknowledges that Pennsylvania needs long-term, sustainable funding and job growth to get its affairs back on track,” said Kinsey, D-Phila, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee. “We need a fresh approach to the budget – not more cuts, which have only served to devalue our education system and place our future prosperity in jeopardy.

“At the same time, the proposal seeks $3.8 billion in local tax relief for homeowners, renters, individuals and businesses through property tax relief, wage-tax relief and expanded rent rebates. To me, this shows that while the governor recognizes the need for new revenue, he is balancing it with targeted cuts that help families prosper. I can get behind that, and I look forward to working his priorities into meaningful legislation.

“Additionally, the governor embraces education in his budget and provides $1 billion toward restoring cuts to Pre-K through 12 and higher education, including investing in early childhood education. I believe this will be music to the ears of many of my constituents.”

The Wolf proposal also seeks to cut the corporate net income tax by 50 percent and makes investments in job creation through programs such as the “Made in Pennsylvania” manufacturing tax credit. Wolf also called for a severance tax on natural gas produced in Pennsylvania.

State budget hearings begin March 9 and run through March 26. Kinsey said that he looks forward to learning more about the budget’s specifics during those hearings.