BLOG: Looking Back on Governor Wolf’s First Year
By: Mark Nicastre, Director of Communications
January 15, 2016
In his first year of office, Governor Wolf has been focused on three priorities: jobs that pay, schools that teach, and a government that works. Over the next week, check out our blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts for tons of great content highlighting the governor’s key achievements of 2015. Throughout the week, the governor will attend events around the commonwealth to highlight key initiatives.
You can also take a look at all of our results at governor.pa.gov/results.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of Governor Wolf’s biggest accomplishments that we’ll be talking about next week.
Expanding Medicaid for 500,000 Pennsylvanians
In December, Governor Tom Wolf announced that more than half a million Pennsylvanians have enrolled in HealthChoices since Pennsylvania expanded its Medicaid program. In February, the governor made the decision to expand Medicaid eligibility in Pennsylvania under the Affordable Care Act. The expansion alleviates confusion, removes unnecessary red tape, and streamlines the system so that people can see a doctor when they are sick and healthcare professionals have more time to concentrate on providing quality care.
Launching Online Voter Registration
In August, Governor Wolf announced that Pennsylvania launched the convenient option of registering online to vote. The online registration application, hosted by the Department of State, is now available for use by eligible citizens at register.votesPA.com. Online Voter Registration is about making the voting experience more convenient and giving citizens an easier way to exercise their right to vote. Online voter registration is secure, it improves accuracy and will reduce costs for counties by cutting down on time-consuming data entry. As of today, over 61,000 Pennsylvanians have registered to vote or updated their information online.
Ending the Capital Stock and Foreign Franchise tax
Governor Tom Wolf announced the successful January 1 phase-out of Pennsylvania’s Capital Stock and Foreign Franchise tax. The Capital Stock and Foreign Franchise tax dates to 1844. Its phase-out that had been scheduled by Governor Tom Ridge for elimination in 2008 was delayed by subsequent administrations. By finally eliminating this outdated tax, Governor Wolf showed his commitment to fostering a business climate that encourages job creation by creating a tax structure that is fair to businesses and taxpayers.
Combating Pennsylvania’s Heroin Crisis
The rise in heroin addiction and prescription drug abuse has quickly led to a public health crisis in Pennsylvania, where one in four families suffer from the effects of substance abuse addiction. Since his inauguration, Governor Wolf has developed the ABC-MAP prescription drug monitoring program, created the interagency Heroin Task Force, announced his support for the use of naloxone at schools across the commonwealth, announced that the Pennsylvania Capitol Police are now trained to administer and will carry naloxone, and stocked all Pennsylvania State Police cars with the naloxone drug. Since equipping State Police cars with naloxone, over 300 lives have been saved with this drug.
Governor Tom Wolf’s first action after taking office was to sign a gift ban for all political appointees and state workers under his jurisdiction to ensure that Pennsylvania government is transparent and accountable to taxpayers. Following that announcement, Governor Wolf urged independent state agencies to ban gifts. Major independent agencies, including PennVEST, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, have since made announcements that they have banned gifts.
Read more blog posts on the accomplishments of Governor Wolf’s Administration in 2015.
Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf