Governor Wolf’s Final Budget Address: Dollars and Sense
By Matt Mahoney | February 11, 2022
Governor Tom Wolf delivered his final budget address to a joint session of the Pennsylvania legislature earlier this week. And as Governor Wolf’s term nears its end, he’s not coasting through his final year in office. He’s keeping his running shoes on through the finish line.
A lot has changed since Pennsylvania’s 47th Governor took the helm in 2015, and a lot is yet to be seen as Pennsylvania approaches a pivotal 2022 election year. Reflecting on his administration’s accomplishments, Governor Wolf said, “I think we have to be careful about looking at the way things have been for the last 20 years and saying, “That’s the way they’re always going to be.”
Wolf’s 8th budget builds on priorities he’s championed since 2015 with an eye towards recovery from the pandemic. At the top of Wolf’s list, a Fair Funding Formula to secure equity in Pennsylvania’s education system and generational “Level Up” investments in 100 school districts that need it the most. Also included are proposals to enhance workforce training, reduce food insecurity, and prioritize sustainable investments for the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians.
Wolf’s budget address comes days after releasing a plan for Pennsylvania’s share of American Rescue Plan funds, meaning we can expect our state officials to negotiate on Pennsylvania’s resilience in the face of climate change to create opportunities for small businesses, workers, and low-income renters to secure a brighter Pennsylvania for generations.
During his two-terms as Governor, Wolf invested in Pennsylvanians by addressing climate change, prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion, fighting for fair funding of schools, and reinforcing environmental justice measures.
The Governor’s address kicks-off weeks of budget hearings and negotiations that will lead to a 2022-2023 state budget by July 1, 2022. People will disagree, people will argue, and all that arguing and disagreeing makes our democracy stronger…only if we refuse to get discouraged. Many have already criticized this budget, but as Governor Wolf put it, “the future belongs to the coalition builders and the consensus-seekers. Those who understand our true impact can only be measured by the work we actually get done and the people whose lives we actually improve.”