Initiatives

Whether as a business owner or governor, Tom Wolf is a leader consistently taking on the status quo and trying to help middle class families. Since taking office, Governor Wolf has been focused on three simple goals: jobs that pay, schools that teach, and government that works. In its first term, the Wolf Administration has taken a number of steps to make Pennsylvania a better place. This page highlights key results and priorities.

 

Investing In Our Kids and Schools

Over the past two years Governor Wolf has fought to increase funding for Pennsylvania schools by nearly $840 million while implementing a fair funding formula. This is a good start toward reversing the devastating $1 billion in cuts made to schools five years ago, but there is still work to do.

Governor Wolf has made clear his strong commitment to education in Pennsylvania by fighting to restore critical education funding cuts, provide unprecedented support to high-quality pre-k programs, and ensure students are college and career ready. He has fought for more education funding since day one and he has made investment in our schools and our children his top priority.

Made historic investments in education at all levels after years of state funding cuts that led to teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, and program cuts.
Enacted a fair funding formula that provides equitable, fair funding for all school districts.
Increased the number of children able to attend pre-kindergarten by 48 percent.
Increased high school graduation rate to 86.1 percent, making Pennsylvania a national leader.
Increased the number of career and technical education (CTE) students earning industry-recognized credentials by 31.5 percent and increased the number of credentials earned by students enrolled in CTE programs by 42 percent.
Advanced Pennsylvania to third in the nation in the number of nationally-recognized STEM ecosystems and made the commonwealth the fifth largest producer of STEM graduates .
Expanded enrollment in AP courses by 10 percent.
Reduced the length of PSSA tests by 20 percent in grades three through eight.
Launched “It’s On Us PA” – the first statewide campaign to address the crisis of sexual assault in schools and on college campuses.

 

Growing Jobs, Supporting Workers

Since day one, Governor Wolf has made “Jobs that Pay” a priority in Pennsylvania. On Governor Wolf’s “Jobs that Pay” tour, the governor and members of his cabinet heard from business owners, industry leaders, and hardworking Pennsylvanians statewide about what the Wolf administration can do to help them thrive.

To rebuild the middle class, we need new ideas to create jobs that pay and policies that support our manufacturing and new growth industries. Coming from the private sector, Governor Wolf knows we must make new investments in 21st century manufacturing and refocus our economic development dollars and strategies. The commonwealth can help set the table for robust private sector growth to create and retain good jobs while strengthening the middle class.

Created nearly 130,000 jobs across the Commonwealth.
Eliminated burdensome taxes on businesses like the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax.
Creating 21st century jobs by passing a manufacturing tax credit.
Will create an additional 15,000 jobs with the creation of a Shell Cracker Plant in Western Pennsylvania and investment in the Port of Philadelphia.
Cutting red tape for small businesses by creating a one stop shop for state resources.
Helped small businesses invest in real estate financing, equipment loans and lines of credit for more than 173 projects has led to more than $350 million in private investment and more than 5,800 jobs created or retained.
Supported 126 community revitalization projects including streetscape and facade improvements to spur business development and quality of life in Pennsylvania’s downtown districts.
Recapitalized the Business in Our Sites program through the reallocation of funding from underutilized programs to grow Pennsylvania’s inventory of pad-ready sites for business development.
Sustained support for the entrepreneur and tech communities through the Ben Franklin Technology Partners to promote and support business innovation and job growth, resulting in more than 9,000 jobs created or retained by client companies in 2016 alone.
Secured critical funding by reallocating funds from underutilized programs to establish the Pipeline Investment Program to enable Pennsylvania’s citizens and businesses to access our own abundant supply of low-cost natural gas.
Completed more than 180 projects with the Governor’s Action Team , securing commitments of more than $8.9 billion in private investments and the creation and retention of 84,000 jobs statewide. An estimated 60 percent of these jobs were created in manufacturing and manufacturing-related sectors.
Signed legislation to allow ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate statewide.

 

Improving Health Care Access and Options

Governor Wolf expanded health care access to 715,000 Pennsylvanians, keeping them from either not seeking care or going to the emergency room, which raises costs for insured residents. The governor’s action has dropped the commonwealth’s uninsured population from 14 percent in 2013 to 5.6 percent today.

Expanded Medicaid, giving an additional 715,000 Pennsylvanians access to health care.
Reduced Pennsylvania’s uninsured rate to 5.6 percent, well below the national average of 8.8 percent.
Increased enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program by 20 percent. The program now serves more than 176,000 Pennsylvania children.
Legalized medical marijuana, providing long-overdue medical relief to patients with serious medical conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s Disease.

 

Reforming Government, Cutting Bureaucracy

Governor Wolf has made wholesale reforms to state government including pension reform that will save billions and the first liquor reform since prohibition.

For Pennsylvania to be great again, we need a government that restores faith in the fundamental notion that our democracy still works while efficiently providing services to Pennsylvanians. Our government should be transparent and fully accountable, and taxpayers deserve to know how every penny is spent.

Governor Tom Wolf is committed to government reforms that increase efficiency, reduce waste, and eliminate cronyism and corruption, and since his first days as governor, he has been praised statewide for his moves towards transparent government that works in Pennsylvania.

Signed comprehensive pension reform which reduced risk to Pennsylvania taxpayers, continues to pay down our debt, and slashes Wall Street fees while still offering state employees fair benefits and easing the financial burden on our school districts in the long term.
Modernized Pennsylvania’s archaic liquor system by allowing gas stations to sell beer and grocery stores to sell wine, as well as increasing hours at state stores and legalizing shipments of wine to people’s homes.
Updated Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws to increases penalties for abuse.
Banned administration officials and state employees from accepting gifts.
Requires cabinet secretaries to post their expenses online each month. View the expenses dashboard.
Signed an executive order to increase diverse and small business participation in state government contracting.
Instituted online voter registration in 2015, resulting in over 950,000 new or updated voter registrations. Register to vote today .
Expanded protections from discrimination for state employees based on sexual orientation, gender expression or identity.
Started the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME), which has identified more than 300 cost-saving projects in state agencies and cumulatively saved over $373 million in the last two years.

 

Protecting Older Pennsylvanians

Governor Wolf understands that we must provide our seniors with the services they have earned. That’s why he is implementing Community HealthChoices, coordinated health care coverage that will serve more than 400,000 seniors in their homes and communities.

Increasing opportunities for older Pennsylvanians to remain in their homes.
Created the Nursing Home Quality Improvement Task Force to enhance the quality of care for seniors in long-term living facilities.
Modernizing senior centers throughout Pennsylvania to improve security, technology, and enhance programming.
Saved more than 180,000 seniors from losing their Medicare Advantage health plans.
Fighting Republican efforts to institute a health care age tax and roll back prescription drug coverage for seniors.

 

Improving Transportation and Infrastructure

Pennsylvania is at the center of the largest market in the world, and Governor Wolf has worked to make sure Pennsylvania’s infrastructure can move goods and products to market so Pennsylvania businesses can compete globally.

Underscored support of the state’s aviation industry, which supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, by announcing more than $34 million in investments in 42 airports.
Announced a $2.1 billion investment in the Road Maintenance and Preservation (Road MaP) initiative which will especially improve Interstates and lower-traffic roadways.
Supported 584 bridge projects and 1,300 roadway and improvement projects worth nearly $6.5 billion. View transportation construction projects .
Improved travel for people and businesses by paving more than 6,000 roadway miles.

 

Fighting The Opioid Epidemic

Governor Wolf has made fighting the opioid crisis a top priority of the administration and is continuing to work across the aisle to address this looming public health issue. Governor Wolf has provided funding to implement 45 centers of excellence (COE) throughout the commonwealth that will treat nearly 11,000 people with substance use disorder. Pennsylvania also recently launched a prescription drug monitoring program that will allow prescribers and dispensers to query and report information regarding the number of opioids prescribed, and to whom and recently announced new prescribing guidelines for the safe and effective use of opioids.

Implemented more than 45 treatment centers that will treat more than 11,000 individuals with substance use disorder.
Expanded Medicaid to more Pennsylvanians, which now covers substance use disorder care for over 125,000 Pennsylvanians.
Secured a $26.5 million federal grant to support prevention, treatment, and recovery services to battle the opioid epidemic.
Grew the number of drug take-back boxes to more than 700 and destroyed more than 301,300 pounds of drugs.
Equipped law enforcement, first responders, and schools with the overdose-reversing antidote naloxone, reversing nearly 4,000 heroin and opioid overdoses since 2014.
Issued a standing order — a prescription written for the general public, rather than specifically for an individual — for overdose-reversing antidote naloxone.
Strengthened the use of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) , which enables health care providers to safely prescribe controlled substances to their patients. 90,000 physicians have conducted more than 1 million searches since the program became operational in 2016.
Launched a 24/7 helpline, 1-800-662-HELP, for those who need immediate assistance with drug and alcohol problems. More than 15,000 Pennsylvanians have contacted the statewide helpline for assistance.