VIDEOS: What Pennsylvania Teachers, Nurses, & Cops Think About Governor Shapiro’s Budget Proposals
March 28, 2023
Harrisburg, PA – Since unveiling his commonsense budget proposal – filled with solutions to the problems Pennsylvania communities face every day – Governor Shapiro has met with Pennsylvanians from across the Commonwealth to learn about their challenges and discuss how his proposals will help them.
Governor Shapiro also invited several honored guests to join him for his budget address and hear firsthand his vision for building an economy that works for everyone, investing in safe and healthy communities, and ensuring every child receives a quality education.
The Governor has also met with nurses, teachers, and police officers to discuss his proposed tax incentive of up to $2,500 a year for three years to encourage Pennsylvanians to join these critical professions.
Hear from some of the honored guests Governor Shapiro invited to attend his Budget Address.
Pennsylvania State Police Cadet Hannah McCurdy – click here to watch.
“I’m currently a cadet at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy. I’m from Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. As a cadet with the Pennsylvania State Police, we’re really looking at getting new cadets in. So finding the budget to get more cadets to join the Academy and to go through the process in the training to support the public would be fantastic. You know, we have a lot of really old equipment and we use the same stuff over and over again. So it’d be fantastic to be able to get new equipment to be able to address situations in the public that we aren’t really able to address as we would like to, to being able to get new equipment and finance that would really benefit not only us as PSP, but also the public.”
First-Year Apprentice with the Iron Workers Local 3 Freddy Notue – click here to watch.
“I’m an Iron Worker Local 3 in Pittsburgh, and I’m here for the budget address by the governor Shapiro is going to invest your apprenticeship program. We need training. There’s a lot of people on site who doesn’t know how to how to read, to measure, for instance. And by taking the training you’re going to get more tools, how to, you know, do basic math like fractions and stuff like that. So by taking that class, you get more tools to get ready on site. So what Governor Shapiro is trying to do – it’s a good thing.”
Pittsburgh Public School District Teacher Jess Porter – click here to watch.
“I’m a third-grade teacher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I’m here today because Governor Shapiro is going to make education a core focus and take action to support teachers, students, and staff in his budget address. I also want to hear his plan about the tax incentive for new teachers and teachers coming to Pennsylvania. I also want to hear him talk about the mental health crisis in schools. I am here to represent educators and teaching staff in Pennsylvania and to support my students and just to talk about all the great things about education.”
Hempfield School District School Counselor Stephen Sharp – click here to watch.
“I’m a school counselor in the Hempfield school district and the K-12 school counseling coordinator. I’m here because I’m in strong support of student mental health and providing an opportunity for everyone to have recovery and growth. They’re in need. I have students who spent not days sometimes almost a week or more in the emergency room waiting for care not being able to have that. To my students, I say very happily that I understand how much this world of education and the world around you has changed over the past three years. And as it continues to get better, we’re going to make sure that all the best resources and opportunities are afforded to all of you, because your futures matter.”
Hear from the Pennsylvanians Governor Shapiro has met with to discuss his proposed $2,500 personal income tax for new teachers, nurses, and students.
Gwynedd Mercy University Nursing Student Dana – click here to watch.
“I am a senior nursing student here at Gwynedd Mercy University and I’m here today to talk about the tax break that Governor Shapiro is proposing. First of all, besides the financial aspect of it, I think it’s a great way to maybe retain nurses and then hopefully we can bridge the shortage that we have, instead of having like a one to six or one to five ratio. It would be very helpful to have a ratio of maybe one to three or one to four. I feel like the healthcare industry is experiencing a great shortage right now. Working in that field, I see the chaos that is happening and the nurses are working tirelessly without help. That is a great safety risk for our patients, and I feel like whatever we can do to aid in that will be greatly benefited.”
Gwynedd Mercy University Nursing Student Brooke – click here to watch.
“I’m here today to have a conversation with Governor Shapiro about his recent tax proposal. So I actually work as a tech in a hospital currently and I definitely see how short staffing can negatively affect the patient outcome at the end of the day. Short staffing directly relates to patient safety. When you don’t have enough nurses to take care of all of their patients adequately, it’s not going to have as beneficial of an outcome for the patients at the end of the day. What he’s doing with targeting the younger generation and the people who are going to lead our future – I think it’s very important to have that conversation and to kind of start there and be able to just get perspective. Perspective is so, so, so vital and important in these situations. I mean, we see firsthand in the field, what’s going on, we have that firsthand experience and knowledge, so to be able to get that is vital.”
Scranton Police Chief Thomas Carroll – click here to watch.
“I am very passionate about public service, and more importantly, about public safety. The difficulty of maintaining public safety increases when staffing shortfalls exist. Our dedicated officers will always face the challenges and cover those shortfalls, but it’s not sustainable. I, like my fellow public safety counterparts, am concerned about the impact of the shortfalls to our operations over time. For the first time in our history, we have developed a comprehensive recruiting initiative to motivate good people to accept the challenges of policing and join our forces. Governor, we appreciate you understanding the seriousness of our staffing needs, promoting law enforcement’s legitimacy, and proposing recruitment incentives for public safety positions.”
Mercyhurst Municipal Police Academy Cadet Jose Montes – click here to watch.
“Our class of cadets come from many walks of life of varying ages and different stages of their careers, but we all have one common goal – and that is to serve the communities that we love and treasure. We are very fortunate to have like-minded people also serving in the government like Governor Shapiro and his staff. We’re thankful that Governor Shapiro is innovative and taking actionable steps to put us in a better position to serve and protect, like introducing a tax credit for new officers in Pennsylvania.”
Pittsburgh Colfax K-8 Teacher Britney – click here to watch.
I was here today because I have an amazing student teacher and we were really excited to hear about the tax credit that she’s going to have when she becomes a teacher. So the one thing we’re noticing is we can get teachers, we can get them in the door. We can’t retain our teachers. And we’re trying to put a bunch of supports in place to make sure that they feel supported. But that’s what they’re saying now. If you have a class size of thirty, with no support, you’re getting burned out so much faster than you were back when I started teaching 15 years ago. I don’t think I realized when I started teaching how much money you actually spend on your students. If you go down to my classroom right now, I have food, I have books, I have bookbags, pencils, crayons, anything that students need, because sometimes students don’t have these things at home. So being able to refund some of that money back into my pocket, gives us more supports for our kids in the classroom. Just having that $2,500 for new teachers I feel like will give some people an incentive. Maybe they weren’t like me in third grade that wanted to become a teacher but might push them to become a teacher in the industry.
Pittsburgh Colfax K-8 Student Teacher Kelsey – click here to watch.
I am in my final semester at the University of Pittsburgh, receiving my master’s in education, specialized in special education. I am here today because I am Miss Brittany’s student teacher this semester in a K-3 learning support classroom. As a graduating student of a teaching certification program, I think a lot of the messaging that we hear is very negative about entering the teaching field. I know when I changed careers, I heard a lot about, ‘oh, well, I don’t I don’t understand why you would want to go into teaching.’ People really start to focus on how difficult it is. And I think Governor Shapiro and the attention that he’s bringing to new teachers especially is really motivating and validating for teachers making this leap, making this financial commitment, but also life commitment, to making their communities a better place through teaching. The $2,500 credit would really benefit, I think, myself and a lot of student teachers and teachers like myself as they enter the classrooms this fall, getting our classrooms prepared with all the tools that students will need to succeed and might not have the resources to bring themselves.