Wolf says Pa. budget plan will follow through on campaign promises

     Gov. Tom Wolf Caln speaks during a news conference at Elementary School Wednesday this month in Thorndale, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    Gov. Tom Wolf Caln speaks during a news conference at Elementary School Wednesday this month in Thorndale, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    Governor Tom Wolf is keeping a lid on the details of his upcoming budget address, but says his  spending plan for Pennsylvania will include more funding for schools and tweaks to tax policy.

     

    In remarks to business and banking groups Tuesday, he said he’s bracing for “some disagreement,” over his proposed budget, which he’ll unveil March 3 to the state Legislature.

    The governor campaigned on a promise to make the wealthy pay higher income taxes, and he’s already proposed a tax on natural gas drillers. But he said even those wary of higher taxes will find “some nice surprises” in his budget.

    “We have to work together, and there’s going to be a lot of work to do in relatively short period of time,” said Wolf after his speech to the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and the Pennsylvania Bankers Association. He pressed the audience to keep an open mind about boosting education spending.

    “We have to recognize that if we want our economy to grow, we’re going to have to invest in the institutions that provide us with the skills we need and our businesses need for our economy to grow,” said Wolf told reporters later. “That’s something I ran on, that’s something that I’ll be talking about in my budget.”

    He said he’ll propose a “fairer tax system” as well with the budget address.

    “This is a chance for a reset,” said Wolf, “and I hope the people of Pennsylvania like what I propose.”

    The commonwealth is facing a more than $2 billion budget deficit. Republicans controlling the Legislature are cool to additional taxes unless they come with significant changes to public pensions and the state liquor system.

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