SEIU Lauds Gov. Wolf’s Plan to Reinvest in Education

Requires oil and gas companies to finally fulfill an industry-standard responsibly in order to help underfunded schools, protect taxpayers

The Pennsylvania State Council of SEIU today issued the following statement concerning Governor Tom Wolf’s proposal that fulfills his promise to make education a top priority by enacting a responsible severance tax on the booming oil and gas companies drilling in the state’s Marcellus Shale region.

“This is the beginning for a brighter future for the students and taxpayers of Pennsylvania,” said Gabe Morgan, President of the State Council and Pennsylvania State Director for SEIU 32BJ. “After four years of unnecessary education cuts that led to school closings, fewer teachers and overcrowded classrooms, Governor Wolf is charting a new path forward. This is a responsible plan that will generate $5 billion over four years to restore good schools and ensure children can get the quality education they deserve in safe classrooms.”

“We applaud Governor Wolf’s effort to end the state’s embarrassing distinction as the only major natural gas producing state without a severance tax,” said Tom Herman, President of SEIU Local 668. “These oil and gas companies are reaping enormous profits by taking a huge amount of gas from our state. It’s time to end the special treatment and require Marcellus Shale drillers to fulfill their responsibility to all Pennsylvanians so we can help fund our schools.”

“This commonsense announcement comes two days after Governor Wolf took action to expand healthcare access for working families through real Medicaid expansion,” said Neal Bisno, Secretary Treasurer of the State Council and President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. “Once again, the governor is keeping his promise to the people and is offering a new beginning for our state. We look forward to working with the governor on this issue and urge the Legislature to stand with students, parents and taxpayers to make good schools and healthy communities a priority in Pennsylvania.”

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