HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf’s $36.06 billion budget proposal for 2020-21 represents a dangerous increase of $2.05 billion over the previous year’s approved spending plan, according to Rep. Mark Keller (R-Perry/Cumberland).
“The governor’s budget troubles me in that he thinks such overspending is acceptable. He also wants to cut agricultural programs created just last year,” Keller said.
The governor’s plan would eliminate $1 million for the Livestock and Consumer Health Protection initiative and $2 million for the Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission. The funding allocated to these initiatives in 2019-20 supported agriculture, Pennsylvania’s No. 1 industry.
Wolf makes these cuts while at the same time incorporating a 9% increase for his own office.
“The governor ignored the agriculture cuts in his address. He also didn’t mention the $550 million in offline spending sometimes referred to as the ‘shadow budget,’” Keller said.
Keller was critical of Wolf’s proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026.
“Wolf’s plan would tie employers’ hands and lead them to reduce the size of their workforce. Just 2.3% of Pennsylvania’s employees actually earns the minimum wage to begin with,” Keller said.
The state budget must be in place before July 1.
Representative Mark Keller
86th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Fitch