Wheatley: Governor’s proposed budget provides needed investments in early education, infrastructure, criminal justice

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, released the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2020-21 budget unveiled Tuesday:


“I commend the governor on recognizing this critical need to both support a raise in the minimum wage and the fact that we have to continue to provide the necessary resources to help struggling families with childcare, transportation, and other supports. Of note, I want to thank Tammy Thompson, executive director of Circles of Greater Pittsburgh, for being an advocate for the benefits cliff, supporting working families who still need some subsidy support.  


"I support Governor Wolf’s commitment to investing in our infrastructure, especially our schools. The $1 billion is needed immediately, but we can't forget that our overall investment in our roads, bridges, water, air and other infrastructure is severely lacking, and we have to address it or continue to lose opportunities and families.


"Once again, the governor has shown he understands and has listened to the citizens of Pennsylvania by making real investments in our education system. His push to provide full-time, all-day kindergarten is a testament to that fact. His efforts to help reduce the financial burden on our young people by supporting their college debt and to invest another $405 million in our K-12 system are definitely steps in the right direction.


"I join him in his call to imagine a Pennsylvania for all Pennsylvanians. The time for us to act to address our violence, specifically gun violence, in our communities is long overdue. I stand ready and willing to work alongside Governor Wolf as he pushes the General Assembly to support a reduction in gun violence. I believe the additional $6 million investment to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and other monies, including funds to the Gun Violence Task Force in Philadelphia, to address this epidemic is vital. In addition, we need to find a way to put a line item in our budget to assist those towns, boroughs and cities that are putting their monies where their mouths are and investing in violence prevention specialists. The commonwealth should play a greater role in supporting those individuals and those communities, and I look forward to working with Governor Wolf to do just that.


"Above all, I am very proud to have a chance to work and reimagine a place where every man, woman and child feels respected, supported and valued.”