Wolf’s $3 billion income tax hike leaves kids behind

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HARRISBURG, February 3, 2021—Gov. Wolf’s annual budget address today was a stunning display of special-interest favoritism mixed with a disconnect from economic reality. While proposing a $3 billion personal income tax hike and asking for billions more for schools that aren’t even open, let alone—to use Wolf’s shibboleth—“schools that teach,” he proposed cutting funding for students who attend public charter schools.

“It seems Gov. Wolf didn’t learn the lesson of last November, when he spent millions of dollars to try to elect more tax-and-spend Democrats to the Legislature and not only failed in that effort but lost seats to boot,” stated Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs President and CEO Matt Brouillette. “Pennsylvanians rejected Wolf’s policies at the ballot box, and the Legislature will do so again by rejecting Wolf’s outlandish budget proposal.

“Under Gov. Wolf’s unilateral orders over the past 11 months, government has not worked, jobs have not paid, and many traditional public schools have not taught,” Brouillette continued. “Thankfully, Republican lawmakers are offering real solutions that will help children across the commonwealth attend the school that’s best for them, without raising taxes on hardworking families and job creators.”

Today, Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, Education Committee Chairman Scott Martin, and Sen. John DiSanto announced a transformative educational improvement package that will allow parents greater control in choosing the school that’s best for their child. SB1, or the Excellence in Education for All Act, would implement targeted educational opportunity accounts for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable students, expand our highly successful tax credit scholarship programs, allow for greater charter school innovations, provide parents greater flexibility to utilize education learning pods, and ensure children can attend a public school that best meets their needs, regardless of zip code.

“Every child deserves a great education, regardless of zip code,” Brouillette concluded. “While Gov. Wolf wants to throw money at underperforming schools as well as schools that aren’t even open as a favor to his teacher union donors, Sens. Corman, Martin, and DiSanto’s proposal would offer tangible, student-focused improvements that will actually help kids across Pennsylvania get the education they deserve.

“It should be a no-brainer that Wolf’s outrageous proposal will be dead-on-arrival in the Legislature. Voters clearly rejected his ideas last November, and Wolf should listen to the voters and join the Legislature in enacting real reforms without jacking up taxes on the people of Pennsylvania.”

Matt Brouillette is available for further comment. Contact Gina Diorio at gina@thecommonwealthpartners.com or 862-703-6670 to arrange an interview.

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Commonwealth Partners is an independent, non-partisan, 501(c)(6) membership organization dedicated to improving the economic environment and educational opportunities in Pennsylvania.