HARRISBURG – Following Gov. Tom Wolf’s annual budget address Tuesday in a joint session of the House and Senate, Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin) issued the following statement:
“The governor’s budget address represents a starting point. The House and Senate will take time to review the governor’s proposal and make improvements where necessary.
“Investing in career and technical job training is one of my top priorities. I have been heavily involved in efforts to raise awareness of jobs and careers in these fields. Not only do jobs in these industries pay well, but they are also greatly in demand. I am pleased to see that the governor has increased funding in this area. House Republicans are standing up for all Pennsylvanians by helping to provide the tools for better-paying, family-sustaining jobs and careers.
“Pennsylvania has made great strides when it comes to considering and enacting policies that will impact the success of the education system and increase student achievement. Funding for PreK-12 education has increased more than $3.4 billion since 2011. We must ensure the increased funding reaches students and classrooms, not just institutions where costs continue to go up. But it is not just about money. We are also committed to making sure students graduate from school ready to succeed in the workplace and in life.
“I am not a proponent of raising the minimum wage in Pennsylvania. When forced to pay significantly increased labor costs, businesses have reduced employees hours, reduced the size of their workforce, refused to hire and train entry-level employees and passed the increased operating costs onto the consumer. Minimum wage jobs are a starting point, not geared to family-sustaining employment. They are incentive to learn a skill and advance through solid job training and experience.
“I recognize the importance of taking care of our most vulnerable citizens. That is why I have consistently sought to make sure children, seniors and those with intellectual or physical disabilities have adequate resources to live full and meaningful lives. However, more needs to be done in the Department of Human Services to make sure dollars are being spent in an effective and impactful manner. We need to look at some commonsense reforms that will help ensure that our costs don’t rise excessively.
“The governor’s budget proposal increases spending by $1.4 billion over last year, approximately a 5 percent increase. What we need to do is live within our means and pass a responsible budget in a timely fashion with less spending. We can’t spend what we don’t have.”
For more information on Wolf’s 2019-20 proposal, visit pahousegop.com
Should you have questions or concerns about any state-related issue, contact Tobash’s district office in Schuylkill Haven located at 988 East Main St., by calling 570-385-8235. Information can also be found online at RepTobash.com
Representative Mike Tobash
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)