News & Brews February 4, 2021
Gov. Wolf wants largest tax hike in Pa. history
It’s official: Gov. Wolf wants a 46% hike on the personal income tax. Our friends at the Commonwealth Foundation explain: “While Wolf proposes a questionable ‘tax forgiveness’ scheme, families at the median family income—with fewer than five children—would pay more. Even with the tax forgiveness, Wolf’s proposal is a net $2.96 billion tax increase, representing $171 per resident (or $686 per family of four).” Not to mention the tax hike would impact approximately 855,000 small business—the very businesses that barely survived Gov. Wolf’s 2020 shutdowns. Gov. Wolf also used his budget proposal to attack charter schools, call for a severance tax, and pitch a minimum wage hike. (Read the Commonwealth Foundation’s three takeaways here.) Fortunately, Republicans are not only rejecting Gov. Wolf’s out-of-touch, extreme agenda, but we are seeing leaders advance a pro-growth agenda to expand educational opportunity. Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, Education Committee Chairman Sen. Scott Martin, and Sen. John DiSanto announced plans to introduce a comprehensive educational opportunity package that will improve access to high quality schools for more kids across PA and will not require higher taxes on hardworking families and job creators.
Liquor union boss tries—and fails—to unionize marijuana workers
Two workers at a cannabis growing outfit in southeastern Pennsylvania tried to form a union shop with UFCW 1776—the union that represents state liquor store workers. Wendell Young, president of UFCW 1776, vows to continue to fight to unionize marijuana workers despite the rejection of the National Labor Relations Board, which cited exemptions for agricultural workers. Undeterred by the fact that the two employees don’t even work for the cannabis operation anymore, Young blamed Trump and vowed to continue the fight to unionize. The CEO of the organization told PennLive, “We’d rather take care of our people. …We don’t want the atmosphere here to be management versus labor.”
Gov. Wolf’s office has few answers for call log requests
After the Delaware Valley Journal (DVJ) published a report of the extremely limited information put forth by Gov. Wolf’s office in response to Right to Know requests for phone records in 2020, “Gov. Tom Wolf’s office responded quickly—and forcefully,” says DVJ. But their clarifications and “corrections” only emphasize the lack of transparency coming from Gov. Wolf’s office in regards to who was on his call logs during the most critical months of the pandemic. Read more here.
You might be in Pennsylvania if…
A state budget related headline reads: Governor’s budget proposal could ‘destroy’ Pa. horse racing.