HARRISBURG – Speaking to a joint session of the general assembly Governor Tom Wolf gave his fourth budget address Tuesday. Two proposals that will be tough to pass the Republican controlled legislature is the imposition of a Marcellus Shale natural gas tax and increasing the minimum wage.
When it comes to the Marcellus Shale tax, Rep. Lynda Schegel Culver (R-108, Sunbury) says concerns remain that the money will come from consumers, “It’s going to be a fine balance between are we taxing the industry appropriately, and does the impact go away with the Marcellus Shale tax.”
On the topic of raising the minimum wage, Rep. Fred Keller (R-85, Kreamer) says the government should let the market increase wages, “Everybody should have an opportunity to make as much money as possible I think we create those opportunities by having more jobs and let the labor market compete and increase everyone’s wage.”
Gov. Wolf’s election-year budget plan would increase spending by 3% or about $1 billion. The spending would go toward funding public schools, skills training, pension obligations, prison costs and social services for children, the elderly and disabled.