HARRISBURG – Following the budget address that Gov. Tom Wolf delivered today to a joint session of the General Assembly, Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) released this statement:
“Gov. Tom Wolf continues to call for an increase to the state’s minimum wage, noting that families can’t live on $7.25 an hour. However, minimum wage isn’t intended to support families, and only 7 percent of minimum wage earners in Pennsylvania have a child. Instead, minimum wage jobs should be used to gain basic employment experience before seeking more lucrative opportunities available by pursuing a trade or earning a degree.
“The governor also continues to push for the implementation of a severance tax, but doesn’t mention that the fees Pennsylvania charges gas companies to drill is already comparable to other states in the region. Further increasing the fees would drive out the business we do have without providing a stable source of funding that should be used to fund the Commonwealth’s expenses. Balancing the state budget with revenue from volatile energy markets leaves us vulnerable to an inability to pay for government when markets go bad, forcing working taxpayers to foot the bill.
“For the last four years, House Republicans have drafted and passed a budget significantly different from the plan Gov. Wolf proposed, and I’m confident that will be the case again this year.”
Representative Russ Diamond
102nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Evans