Blog: Page 28

Governor Wolf is Fighting to Change Harrisburg

Governor Wolf is doing things differently to get results for the people of Pennsylvania. He is going to continue to fight to change Harrisburg in order to make a difference in the lives of Pennsylvanians.

TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Jeff Sheridan, Wolf for PA Campaign Manager
SUBJECT: Governor Wolf is Fighting to Change Harrisburg
DATE: May 14, 2018

Governor Tom Wolf is fighting to change Harrisburg. As soon as he took office, Governor Wolf immediately sent Harrisburg legislators, insiders, and lobbyists a signal that he was not going to do things the way they were always done. He announced that he would donate his salary to charity and would refuse a state pension and enacted some of the strongest executive branch ethics reforms in the country. Governor Wolf:

  • Signed an executive order banning anyone in his administration from taking gifts.
  • Reformed the legal contracting process to end pay-to-play.
  • Required all of his cabinet’s expenses to be posted publicly so taxpayers can see how their money is spent.

Now, Governor Wolf is working to enact campaign finance reforms to curb special interests and establish an independent redistricting commission. He’s also continuing his fight to pass a commonsense severance tax.

Governor Wolf introducdes 'citizens first' ethics reform plan
Harrisburg Republicans have repeatedly thwarted the governor’s attempts to pass a commonsense shale tax because they want to score political points. Republican opposition in Harrisburg is rooted in politics, not in the best interest of the state. The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that big oil and gas has spent over $60 million dollars on lobbying and political donations to avoid paying a commonsense severance tax. But Governor Wolf will not allow them to play games with the economic well-being of Pennsylvanians.

Changing the culture in Harrisburg is hard. But by making state government more transparent and responsive to Pennsylvanians, and by working to make sure the people of Pennsylvania benefit from the natural gas industry, Governor Wolf is continuing his fight to change the way things are done so he can move Pennsylvania forward.

Governor Wolf is:

PREPARING OUR CHILDREN FOR THE JOBS OF THE 21ST CENTURY

Five years ago, a Republican governor and a Republican legislature cut a nearly a billion dollars from public education. Teachers were laid off by the tens of thousands, important programs were cut, and schools were pushed to the brink of closing. But when Governor Wolf took office, he drew a line in the sand. He refused to balance the budget on the backs of our children and he stood up to Harrisburg politicians who were used to doing things a certain way.

The result? Governor Wolf has restored the cuts made by the Harrisburg legislature and passed a fair funding formula to take politics out of school funding once and for all.

And now, Governor Wolf is fighting to make college more affordable and to increase workforce development and apprenticeship training. Since he’s taken office, Governor Wolf has:

  • Increased the number of credentials earned by students in career and technical education programs by 42 percent.
  • Increased the number of registered apprentices has increased by 14.5 percent.
  • Supported training of more than 120,000 workers at more than 2,200 companies across the commonwealth to help workers thrive in their jobs and develop more marketable skills.

IMPROVING ACCESS TO QUALITY HEALTH CARE

Governor Wolf knows that for Pennsylvania to reach its greatest potential, residents must have access to affordable, quality health care. Since he took office, Governor Wolf has:

  • Expanded Medicaid to over 720,000 Pennsylvanians.
  • Reduced the uninsured rate to its lowest rate ever.
  • Increased enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program by 20 percent.
  • Legalized medical marijuana.
  • Declared the opioid and heroin epidemic a statewide disaster declaration and used every tool at the state’s disposal to battle this devastation public health crisis.

PROTECTING OUR SENIORS

Under Governor Wolf, tens of thousands of additional seniors are now able to age in their homes. He is also protecting the lottery fund that supports important programs for older Pennsylvanians, improving nursing home facilities, and upgrading senior community centers. And every step of the way, Governor Wolf has stood up to Donald Trump’s plans to institute an age tax and roll back prescription drug coverage for Pennsylvania’s seniors.

Now, Governor Wolf is lowering prescription drug prices for seniors and continuing to expand opportunities for seniors to age in their homes.

'Today I was proud to sign House Bill 425, which ensures more than 12,000 seniors will continue to receive prescription durg benefits through the state's PACE and PACENET programs.' - Governor Wolf
GROWING THE ECONOMY

Since day one, Governor Wolf has focused on creating an economy that works for all Pennsylvanians. As a business owner, Governor Wolf knows what it takes to create jobs right here in Pennsylvania. As governor, he has:

  • Eliminated burdensome taxes on businesses like the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax.
  • Made significant investments in workforce development and apprenticeship programs to prepare workers for jobs of the 21st century.
  • Passed a manufacturing tax credit.
  • Repaired or rebuilt 1,300 roads, 600 bridges, and more than 6,000 miles of roadway with $6 billion in infrastructure improvements funding Pennsylvania.
  • Moved large projects forward like the Shell Cracker Plant in Western PA, the Port of Philadelphia, and a steel plant in Johnstown.
  • Supported small businesses by cutting red tape and investing in real estate financing, equipment loans and lines of credit for 173 small business projects that led to more than $350 million in private investment.

Now, Governor Wolf is launching PA Smart, a new workforce development initiative that helps connect Pennsylvanians with resources for working and training in Pennsylvania.

GETTING THINGS DONE

Rather than accepting business as usual in Harrisburg that has left state government broken, Governor Wolf has governed practically and sensibly, using the experience he gained as a business owner to find real solutions to Pennsylvania’s problems. He’s worked with both Democrats and Republicans on issues that have long sat dormant in Harrisburg to get results for our commonwealth. Governor Wolf has:

  • Signed comprehensive pension reform which reduced risk to taxpayers, continues to pay down our debt, and slashes Wall Street fees.
  • Legalized medical marijuana, providing long overdue medical relief to patients with serious medical conditions such as cancer and multiple sclerosis.
  • Enacted a fair funding formula that removes politics from school funding.
  • Modernized Pennsylvania’s archaic liquor system by instituting reforms that improve customer convenience, such as allowing beer to be sold at gas stations and c-stores and allowing grocery stores to sell wine.
  • Signed Libre’s Law, strengthening animal cruelty laws.

Governor Wolf is doing things differently to get results for the people of Pennsylvania.

He is going to continue to fight to change Harrisburg in order to make a difference in the lives of Pennsylvanians.

Governor Tom Wolf Announces Endorsement of Helen Tai in Special Election in HD-178

PENNSYLVANIA  – Governor Wolf released the following statement: “Today, I am proud to announce my endorsement of Helen Tai. I need partners like Helen to

PENNSYLVANIA  – Governor Wolf released the following statement:

“Today, I am proud to announce my endorsement of Helen Tai. I need partners like Helen to fight with me to change Harrisburg by protecting education and seniors, reducing gun violence, combating the opioid crisis, and continuing to grow our economy. Helen’s experience as a business owner combined with her public service and time spent as the Chair of the Solebury Township Board of Supervisors make her an excellent fit to represent the people of the 178th.”

Governor Wolf Works to End Cycle of Mass Incarceration

Last week, Governor Wolf stood with artist “Meek Mill” Williams, 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, as well as half a dozen legislators including Congressman Dwight Evans,

Last week, Governor Wolf stood with artist “Meek Mill” Williams, 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, as well as half a dozen legislators including Congressman Dwight Evans, Senator Larry Farnese, and Representatives Jordan Harris, Joanna McClinton, Donna Bullock, and Morgan Cephas in a call-to-action for criminal justice reform.

As WHYY reported:

“The governor called on the state House to pass a trio of bills recently approved the state Senate that would release nonviolent offenders more quickly and help move more prisoners into substance abuse programs, while also pumping more dollars into probation and parole programs across the state.”

The governor’s plan is focused on rehabilitation and victim protection while providing consistency and uniformity in the criminal justice system. These reforms will work to end the cycle of mass incarceration.

“We need to do the work to make our criminal justice system fairer, more equitable, and more focused on rehabilitation,” Governor Wolf said. “Since I became Governor, I have worked hard to reform our system so that it leads to better outcomes and saves taxpayer dollars – while also leading to less crime and fewer victims. Let’s continue to work towards building the criminal justice system we all want to see in Pennsylvania.”

Meek Mill, who was recently released from prison after serving five months of a two- to four-year sentence for a probation violation on a decade-old conviction, expressed his support for Governor Wolf’s initiatives, saying, “I’m greatly encouraged by the Governor’s commitment to ensuring a fair sentencing process and ultimately ending the unjust cycle of incarceration in our state.”

Karen’s Story: “I made the heartbreaking choice to terminate my pregnancy” (Guest Blog)

By Karen Agatone In July of 2015, I found out I was pregnant for the first time. My husband and I were thrilled. Our dreams

By Karen Agatone

In July of 2015, I found out I was pregnant for the first time. My husband and I were thrilled. Our dreams of becoming a family were just starting and everything felt full of hope and promise.

While still in my first trimester, I opted for advanced genetic screening, which ruled out any major chromosomal abnormalities and confirmed the exciting news that we were having a girl. By the time we got to the 20-week ultrasound, we had named her Evelyn and even purchased a crib the weekend before.

Within 10 minutes of the scan, we knew something was wrong. Our sonogram technician became quiet and a high-risk doctor came into the room to confirm our worst fears: that something was very wrong. He sat us down and told us that Evelyn had what he believed to be a rare genetic disorder. Before we could even process what that meant for our family, the doctor explained that her chances of survival were non-existent and that she was incompatible with life.

Crushed, we went to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for a second opinion. We saw a team of the best specialists in the country, who confirmed what the other doctor had told us: Evelyn would not survive. She had Thanatophoric Dysplasia, a very rare and spontaneous mutation that is not only lethal but would be incredibly painful for her as she developed.

Evelyn’s lungs would not be able to grow inside of her too small chest cavity, which meant she could die inside of me within days or weeks or she could go all the way to term, only to be left gasping for the air she would never breathe on her own. She might live for a few hours or at best, a few days, and would be suffering the entire time.

All of the hopes and dreams we had for Evelyn died that day, along with the dream of our new family. We mourned Evelyn and the family we thought we would be. As her mother, it was my job to plan for her to have the best possible quality of life. But I could not continue to plan for her to have no quality of life.

My husband and I made the heartbreaking choice to terminate my pregnancy and let Evelyn be at peace. It was the only decision we would have to make for her as parents. At 21 weeks of gestation, I had an abortion so my daughter would not have to suffer.

Less than three months later, I conceived again and today, we have a healthy toddler son and infant daughter who light up my life. If it were not for my ability to access safe and legal care to terminate my pregnancy, I would not have our children in my arms today.

Second trimester abortion is not a black or white issue – it’s much more complicated than that. It’s not something any mother wants to go through and it’s certainly not something that is easy to talk about, no matter how much time goes by. But I continue to tell my story because conservative legislators in Pennsylvania have repeatedly tried to pass laws to restrict a woman’s right to choose. They are forcing their beliefs on women they don’t know about circumstances they could never understand. These dangerous bills threaten the health, wellbeing and fertility of women.

Abortion isn’t just about the decision to become a parent. It’s often a parenting decision. And Governor Wolf has always allowed loving parents to be able to make the decisions they believe are best for their babies and families. He trusts women and that’s why he deserves your vote for re-election.