Jul. 20, 2015

HARRISBURG – In response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s visit to Beaver County today as part of his continued statewide campaign to defend his $12.7 billion tax increase plan, state Reps. Jim Marshall (R-Beaver/Butler) and Jim Christiana (R-Beaver/Washington) released the following statement urging the governor to put politics aside and join legislative leaders at the negotiating table:

“While the governor is out traveling the ‘campaign trail,’ he should be offering our schools an apology for cutting off their funding entirely. His impulsive decision to veto record levels of state funding for education is proof that he’s more committed to promoting his massive tax increases than he is to actually improving the quality and effectiveness of our schools.

“The teachers, parents and students of Big Beaver Falls Area School District deserve better than to be used as a marketing backdrop for an attack on the natural gas industry. Wolf claims that he will use a severance tax on the natural gas industry to support public education, but the fine print shows that his severance tax revenue is earmarked for Harrisburg spending and handouts to wind and solar corporations – not schools or communities.

“The governor’s budget plan is bad for the residents of Western Pennsylvania. His plan would raise more than $12 billion in new taxes on workers and families and send 32 percent of its education dollars to the Philadelphia School District, leaving the other 499 school districts across the Commonwealth to split what’s left.

“The bottom line is that the governor vetoed a budget that included record state investments in public education, including an additional $100 million in new basic education funding over last year. The governor vetoed these additional education dollars so that he could continue to push for his tax plan, which was unanimously voted down by every Democratic and Republican member of the House when it came up for a vote.

“We cannot support a budget like the one the governor proposes that would force hard-working families to pay more in taxes and drive away good-paying jobs. Taxpayers simply cannot afford the governor’s excessive tax increases. Seniors and working families are looking for tax relief, not tax increases. They are taxed enough as it is.

“We urge the governor to join legislators in good faith negotiations so that we can reach a budget agreement that respects taxpayers and benefits all Pennsylvanians, not just a few special interests.”

Representative Jim Marshall
14th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Representative Jim Christiana
15th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jonathan Anzur