Gov. Tom Wolf on his final budget, priorities and education funding

In today’s episode of The Confluence: Gov. Tom Wolfe joins Confluence after proposing his final budget as state executive, and discusses his other priorities over the past 10 months in office; And we hear how long-term care facilities are making efforts to recruit and retain sick assistants.

Governor Wolf says the state does not offer fair education, but its budget is aimed at supporting poor school districts
(0:00 – 17:45)

Last week, Lost Tom Wolf suggested it the eighth and final budget of his administrationabout $ 43.7 billion. This spending plan is about $ 6 billion more than its proposed budget from 2021, and this is the biggest increase in its administration year on year.

“We’re going to end the year with a surplus of $ 6 billion,” Wolf says. “There are some unpaid bills, and the biggest one is education, so I wanted to plug that hole this year.”

Wolff has offered an additional $ 1.5 billion for public education K-12 and another $ 300 million for it The level of initiativeThat gives money to the state’s 100 most inadmissible school districts. This comes at a time when state lawmakers, including Wolf, are the subject of a lawsuit filed in the year of his election.

Plaintiffs, six school districts, parents and three government organizations allege that the state violates the state constitution by not allowing fair and equitable education for students in poor school districts.

The trial began in 2014, even before Wolf’s inauguration, but when he took over as governor, he became a defendant.

“I really shouldn’t talk about the lawsuit because I’m technically a defendant, but I ran because I believe we need to work better with the state and fund education. I believed that when I ran, I believed that when I was discovered, I still believe, ”Wolf says.

Wolff says the state’s “Black Days Fund” is in a healthy position with $ 2.8 billion in reserves, so he feels comfortable with his robust budget offer.

The State Independent Fiscal Authority (IFO), a non-partisan financial control, warned that the state could face $ 1.8 billion deficit in June 2024.

“I’m not sure what the IFOs are looking at … I mean, maybe they’re saying that if we increase spending the way we increase it this year, yes, that may be true,” he said. Wolf. “But I don’t think anyone is arguing we should do it. I certainly don’t. I’m just saying that this year we have the ability to pay the bills, and this year we need to do that and make that leap to where we are, where we really need to be in terms of our investment in education. ”

Ten months before the end of his term, Wolfe says he will prioritize raising the state’s minimum wage and seeking to strengthen K-12 staff and higher education.

Long-term care facilities need nursing assistants and are increasingly willing to increase their compensation
(17:51 – 22:30)

Nursing assistants who feed, bathe, and clothe nursing home residents have never earned much money, although it is hard work. But COVID-19 caused the exodus of these employees and it is leaving facilities.

90.5 Wesa’s Sarah Boden reports that some administrators are now finding that they need to make concessions Recruit and retain workers.

Merger is where the news comes together, Wesa’s 90.5 daily program. Tune in Monday through Thursday at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at important Pittsburgh stories. Find more episodes of the merger here or where you get your podcasts.

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