For Immediate Release
February 3, 2021
SEIU Responds to Governor Wolf’s Budget Address
The SEIU PA State Council applauds Governor Wolf’s budget proposal, an agenda that prioritizes the needs of workers and families. By focusing on education funding, healthcare, taxes and criminal justice reform, Governor Wolf is addressing the economic and everyday challenges Pennsylvanians have increasingly faced since the COVID pandemic began last year.
SEIU members have been at the forefront of the COVID crisis as essential workers for almost a year. Many have struggled to obtain basic PPE, and to provide education and childcare for young children. Others have struggled with the fundamental desire that every parent and family caregiver has, regardless of where they come from or what they look like. Our members want to see their child come home safely every night.
While we were hopeful for a budget that included a more comprehensive investment in public health infrastructure, including safe staffing regulations and more money to the bedside, we are optimistic about the future of Pennsylvania based on what the Governor has outlined:
- $1.3 billion in education funding
- All basic education funding will be distributed through the fair funding formula
- $87 million increase in childcare support
- $2.8 million in tax cuts to families most in need
- Reduction in property taxes for working families
- Increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour
- Bail/Probation Reform
- Whole person healthcare reform: creation of a health value commission, keep all payers and providers accountable for healthcare cost growth
- Same day voter registration
- Investments in schools and public infrastructure
“SEIU members work tirelessly everyday to ensure that our basic way of life is not disrupted during the real threat of COVID-19, the threat of police violence or the growing existential threats to our democracy. They deserve to work in and send their children to safe, functioning schools and to earn more than a poverty wage. That’s why we stand strong with Governor Wolf on this budget and call on the state legislature to do its part to see it through,” said Gabe Morgan, President of the State Council and Vice President of Local 32BJ.
We know that the fight has only just begun, and now we have to work towards a legislative agenda that aligns with what the Governor has outlined today. SEIU looks forward to working with the General Assembly to continue this momentum and ensure that every one of us can care for our families, earn a fair return for our work and do right by the people who protect and care for us.
The locals of the SEIU Pennsylvania State Council include SEIU Local 32BJ, SEIU Local 668, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Joint Board of Workers United. These locals represent 80,000 workers statewide – including property service workers, health care workers, public service workers, school employees, laundry and distribution workers.