Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35) offered the following statement on Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed $40.2 billion General Fund Budget for the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year:
“During my tenure in office, I have looked forward to working with the Governor and all members of the General Assembly to pass bi-partisan legislation to help working families across the 35th Senatorial District and our Commonwealth. However, this proposed budget is not only out-of-touch with the residents of the 35th Senatorial District but all the residents of the Commonwealth.
At a time when businesses are dying and closing their doors, the Governor has proposed the largest tax increase in state history. That is not the answer. We need to be working to get businesses safely open not impose additional taxes.
The proposal calls for an increase to broadband access which has been and continues to be a key component throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this proposal eliminates $5 million in funding for Act 132 of 2020 (SB 835) which provides funding for broadband service in underserved communities. This legislation that I primed sponsored passed the General Assembly unanimously and was signed by the Governor. Yet, 70 days later he is calling for elimination of that very funding. This will hurt the efforts being made to bring broadband access to all areas in our Commonwealth, thus hurting those individuals attempting to work from home, attend school remotely and advancing our agricultural community.
Further, the proposal calls for entering into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) which will increase electricity costs for families. It will close our power plants and cut family-sustaining jobs from our communities.
Finally, the Governor failed to mention anything about improving the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Pennsylvania ranks 49th in vaccine distribution. The Governor needs to develop a real plan so our residents that so desperately need them can get them.
In the coming weeks and months, we will be having these tough conversations on how to move Pennsylvania forward. This must be done in a bi-partisan and transparent manner. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I look forward to participating in the upcoming hearings to ensure whatever is passed in June will be in the best interest of all the residents of the 35th Senatorial District and the Commonwealth.”
Contact: Gwenn Dando