tv Pennsylvania Annual Budget Address CSPAN February 11, 2018 1:22pm-1:43pm EST
on c-span's "q&a" new york times staff photographer talks about the photographs he took while covering president trump. >> he enjoys having us around. commentsis constant about fake news and the media and so forth i feel that he enjoys having us around because it helps drive his message and helps drive the news of the day which he can do every day and does every day. aroundre, having us allows him to do that. c-span.ght at 8:00 on pennsylvania governor tom wolfe recently gave his budget address at the state capitol in harrisburg. hislso talked about legislative priorities including education investment and combating the opioid epidemic. this is 20 minutes.
tot to take a moment congratulate the philadelphia eagles, the city of philadelphia, that all of us in pennsylvania. we are sometimes split between parties and eagles and steelers. we are all fans of pennsylvania and the eagles and their devoted fans deserve this moment and we should all be happy to share it. we now have seven super bowl rings in pennsylvania. [applause] gov. wolf: that is truly something we can be proud of. fly, eagles, fly. [applause] just like so many of us have pride in the eagles, the
story of the commonwealth of pennsylvania has always been a story about pride. we have always been proud of the work we do. proud of the industries we have built, proud of the communities we grow up in and raise our kids in. proud of the traditions we passed down through the generations. officetime i took this three years ago the economy had changed and the commonwealth was headed in the wrong direction. when i stood out this building on that tuesday afternoon and took the oath of office as governor, i talked about what made our commonwealth a place we are also proud to be from, a place where we built things, a place where you can find work that puts food on the table and allows you to save up for college and retirement, a place you can watch your kids grow up and find jobs of their own and start a business and sign the other side of a paycheck. i believe nown as that the people of pennsylvania have what it takes to restore those values and build our
prosperity. what was standing in our way was not our work ethic, but a kind of political paralysis, the --tus quo which politicians politicians cannot find a way to make the tough decisions we would need to get back on track. i promised that i would challenge that status quo. that is what i have tried to do for the last three years. it has meant challenging the legislator does -- the legislature to step out of its comfort zone. sometimes i've been forced to move forward on my own. we still have work to do. taking on the status quo in harrisburg, we have already begun to write a new story for our commonwealth. is not a story about a past we will never get back, it is a story about a brighter future we can all bring together if we can get the political will to do it.
i'm here to challenge you to join me in writing the next chapter of that pennsylvania story. that story begins in our schools. ing before i was a governor, was apparent and i knew that nothing was more important than being able to send your child to a great school, to get your child a great education. i was also a business owner who knew that nothing is more important than being able to find qualified employees. ourew we cannot bring back economy into we brought back our public education system. notew that businesses would invest in pennsylvania until pennsylvania invested in schools. the first thing i did when i got to harrisburg was to draw a line in the sand on education. over the last three years we have invested in our schools and reversed a billion dollars in cuts that were made under the previous administration, cuts that have led to larger class sizes, layoffs of educators, programs like full-day kindergartners and we have already begun to see these
investments pay off. today, we have nearly 100,000 students enrolled in full-day kindergarten. we have increased the number of kids able to attend prekindergarten by half. our high school graduation rate is 86%, making us the national leader. we are second in the nation in stem education. we have increased the number of career and technical education students earning industry recognized certificates by nearly 33%, preparing them for the job our employers are trying to fill right now. rebuilding our schools is the beginning of rebuilding our economy but it is just the beginning. for three years, we have been working to create more jobs that pay in every corner of our state. pennsylvania has gained nearly 180,000 jobs since i took office and last year we let our region in grob joseph good -- in job
growth. the workforce development partnerships we have forged are on pace to train thousands of workers for jobs that are sitting open right now. over the last three years we've 1600 bridgesebuilt and over 18,000 miles of roadways and over the next decade we are going to invest $2 billion more in rebuilding roads and highways and bridges across our commonwealth so people can get to work and our products to get to market. it is for these reasons i think a company like amazon is considering philadelphia or pittsburgh as a location for its second headquarters. businesses do not invest in states that do not invest in education. we are doing all of these things and i am hopeful that amazon will come here and build here and expand here.
[applause] gov. wolf: we've got rid of burdensomeome -- of taxes and cut red tape that made it harder to open small businesses and streamlined the services we offer so our government can be an ally, not an obstacle for entrepreneurs looking to get started in pennsylvania. this week, we followed through on a promise i made last year by launching a one stop stop -- a one stop shop for businesses and business owners. do, froma lot more to expanding access to the internet to every corner of the commonwealth to a new workforce program that will consolidate our workforce to moment efforts into yet another one-stop shop. speaking of our workforce, in this year's budget, i am proposing another major step
forward, a significant investment in career and technical education to help make pennsylvania a better place to learn and work and do business. [applause] gov. wolf: developing a workforce that can compete and win in the 21st century economy is the single best way to help pennsylvania businesses grow and attract new businesses to our commonwealth. the singleit is also best thing we can do to help more of our people find jobs, not just tomorrow, but today. these are careers. everything from welding and advanced to coding and manufacturing careers that can sustain families and enrich communities. these careers are not reserved for people with four year degrees. anyone in our state that is willing to put in an honest days work deserves a shot to make a good living and by investing in
these programs we can give them a chance to gain the skills they need to do it. at lcr systems in norristown there is a man named michael rosenberg. he is here today. stand up. [applause] gov. wolf: thank you for being here. linerks on a manufacturing and services a major contractor. eight years ago he would never have expected to be in that high-level position. he did not have a college degree and he was working in the plant as a janitor. michael was a great employee, a smart guy who took the work he did to heart no matter what it was. he wanted to do more than just collect a paycheck. he wanted to build a career making things in pennsylvania. a workforce training program through the department of community and economic able to get he was
additional training in montgomery county community college. with his skills, he was able to move up the assembly floor and then he got promoted again to the machine shop. there is a guy who ran no formal experience in machine shop work until he got this additional training. now he is head of the entire machine shop. he is a role model to his fellow employees. money, makingore an even greater contribution, not just to his family but to the community. there should be a place in pennsylvania's future for people like michael. there should be a place in pennsylvania's future for anyone willing to work hard to make a better life. i hope you're ready to work with me to make that happen. [applause] gov. wolf: i am hopeful because over the last three years we have begun to see progress in changing the way things work.
i am also aware that sometimes progress does not come without an occasional push. when i took office i knew i had to set a new tone in harrisburg and that is why i banned anyone in my administration from taking gifts from lobbyists. i refuse to take a salary or a pension. had aople of pennsylvania right to expect much more from their government. even though they elected a get -- a democratic governor and are a pop -- and a republican legislature they expected to find ways for all of us to work together and deliver results. [applause] gov. wolf: thank you. it has always been and it always will be my privilege to work with the legislature and when we found ways to do that we've been able to get a lot of things done for the people of pennsylvania. that is how we expanded our response to the opioid crisis, law enforcement with the tools
they need to fight this epidemic , and helping thousands of people struggle with addiction to get access to treatment that could save their lives. working together we reduce the prison population by lowering pennsylvania's crime rates. that is great. [applause] gov. wolf: yeah. despite this, our cities still face issues of violence. we need to work together to make our cities and communities safer so violence is never an obstacle to opportunity. working together is how we enacted a fair funding formula in our education system that takes politics out of the school funding decision and make sure your zip code does not determine what kind of education you can get. [applause] together isorking how we solved one of the thorniest problems and
harrisburg, reforming our pension system in a way that is fair to our workers and taxpayers so we can stop wasting so much money on wall street fees, meter obligations, and start paying down our -- meet our obligations and start paying down our debt. that is how we make medical marijuana available so patients can live without pain. [applause] gov. wolf: that is how at long last we reformed our liquor system. of the legislature have not mustered up the political will to work with me i have no problem doing it on my own, whether it is expanding medicaid -- [applause] gov. wolf: and cutting our uninsured rates to the lowest it has ever been, expanding opportunities for seniors to stay in their homes, or streamlining agencies of state government.
i have done things on my own to help the people of pennsylvania. harrisburg works better and pennsylvania works better when we all work together. when it comes to this year's budget, working together should be easier than in years past. after decades of neglect and years of crisis we have finally begun to tame the physical -- the fiscal beast epic haunts harrisburg. harrisburg's inability to deal -- i am proudis we've begun to change that story. some of the work i've been able to do is in the governor's office. i was able to cut $2 billion by streamlining our bureaucracy, saving pennsylvanians another $700 million by cracking down on fraud and abuse. some of the work we've been able making pension payments and reforming our criminal justice system and lowering health care costs.
because we have begun to take a new approach to our budget, i can come before you today with a budget that makes the investments we need to continue our progress without any tax increase on pennsylvania families. [applause] i am going to keep doing whatever i can do to reduce costs and streamline government. we could do so much more to werove our fiscal future if work together. that brings me to the severance tax. fewsylvania is one of the states fortunate enough to have abundant natural gas resources. we're the only one of those states without a severance tax. the other states are bringing in millions of dollars from the oil and gas industry. that money is going to fix roads, build schools, and keep taxes low. let's understand what a severance tax is -- it is a tax
paid by people mostly out of pennsylvania to use our natural resources. by failing to put in place this tax, we are just paying other states taxes, like when we fill up our cars or heat our homes we are paying for alaska school or texas roads. ado not remember ever getting thank you note from any of the taxpayers in texas or alaska. pennsylvania is blowing most of the states out of the water when it comes to production. by joining every other gas producing state in passing a severance tax we can join them by bringing billions of dollars into our own coffers. we can build a brighter future for pennsylvania. [applause] gov. wolf: this is only hard if
we choose to make it hard. why isn't this done? as rich as our commonwealth is in some natural resources, special interests have put political courage in short supply. the oil and gas industry are powerful. i have seen people in this legislature, even people i disagree with, set politics aside to do what is right. i believe you have it in you to do that again. pennsylvania is counting on you to do that again. i'm not just asking, but challenging you to do the right thing to pass a severance tax so we can keep making investments that will grow our economy and keep making investments on issues pennsylvanians care about and keep running the proud story of a brighter future for pennsylvania. [applause] gov. wolf: after all, the pennsylvania we are also proud of, the place where you can work
hard and earn a good living, raise your family in a strong kids find watch your opportunity of their own, that was not magically bestowed upon generationsuilt by of people who did hard things together. now it is our turn. it is our turn to make the tough decisions with courage and conviction. invest in new to technologies, inspire new discoveries and incubate new industries. it is our turn to bear -- it is our turn to build stronger and fairer economies and a safer set of communities and new opportunities for the next generation. finish runningto the next chapter of the story of this great commonwealth. i've never been more proud to be a pennsylvanian. i have never been more confident of our people, i've never been more hopeful of our future. pleasefeel the same way, consider this proposal an invitation to join me in building that future together. thank you very much.