The Democratic Policy Committees from both the state House and Senate are hosting a joint public hearing Monday to discuss Governor Tom Wolf’s ‘Restore PA’ initiative. The meeting comes just under three weeks before the state’s budget deadline of June 30. Input during the meeting could sway whether or not the proposal is adopted, and contingencies could potentially determine if the budget deadline is missed.
The Governor’s ‘Restore PA’ plan promises $4.5 billion towards the state’s infrastructure and economic development over the next four years. It proposes using funds from a severance tax on natural gas drillers.
Most Democrats are on board with Governor Wolf’s plan, however some members of the House Republican caucus have come out against it. Recently, House Speaker Mike Turzai released a statement on ‘Restore PA’ calling it an “irresponsible”, “debt-financed slush fund.”
In a counter measure, the House GOP is proposing the ‘Energize PA’ program, which also hinges around the state’s natural gas industry. The stark contrast is how the industry is used to benefit Pennsylvanians. ‘Energize PA’ calls to expand tax credits and existing grant programs for natural gas pipes which Republicans say would require those companies to invest billions of dollars into local economies and create tens of thousands of construction jobs.