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HARRISBURG, February 5, 2019 – Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) today provided the following statement on Gov. Tom Wolf’s $34.1 billion budget proposal for fiscal 2019-20:

“I am encouraged by the governor’s budget proposal for its emphasis on strengthening a skilled, educated workforce that will grow and attract businesses throughout the state. I’m also pleased that his budget plan holds the line on taxes.

“I applaud Governor Wolf for his continued investment in education and job training. This plan would pump an additional $257 million into our schools. Lowering the compulsory education age and making it possible for parents to seek educational opportunities for themselves through his proposed “Parent Pathways” program would also strengthen our families and communities.

“Preparing our workforce for jobs that are available today and tomorrow is imperative. The governor’s proposed funding increases of $4 million in manufacturing career training and $6 million in an adult technical career training will help us attain that goal.

“I am also encouraged that the governor is again calling for an increase in the state’s minimum wage — gradually from the current $7.40 an hour to $15 an hour by 2025. Initially increasing the minimum wage to $12 per hour this year would lift thousands of working families out of poverty and save taxpayers an estimated $36 million.

“With the governor’s plan in place, it is now time for the legislature to closely examine his proposal to refine and improve it. I am hopeful Democrats and Republicans will take a bipartisan and cooperative approach as we work to finalize the state’s 2019-20 spending plan.”

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