Priorities for Pennsylvania
Priorities for Pennsylvania
Governor Tom Wolf is a leader consistently at work for the people of Pennsylvania. When he took office in 2015, he came to Harrisburg with big plans to move Pennsylvania forward.
During his two terms in office, Gov. Wolf turned around the state’s finances while making smart investments in the people of Pennsylvania. By making transformational investments in education, health care, workforce development and business growth, and implementing policy to lower barriers Pennsylvanians face, Gov. Wolf has charted a path to prosperity for Pennsylvania’s future.
Gov. Wolf works every day to build a safe and equitable commonwealth for everyone. His commitment to change has fueled the commonwealth’s comeback, leaving Pennsylvania in a much better place than when he arrived.
- Invested more in education than any other Pennsylvania governor. Made the largest single-year funding increase in state history.
- Established the Fair Funding Formula to fund school districts more equitably.
- Implemented the Level Up program to boost funding for the 100 most underfunded school districts in Pennsylvania.
- Launched the PAsmart program to expand STEM education and make computer science available to all students.
- Raised the high school dropout age to 18 and reduced the required attendance age to 6.
- Signed the first-of-its-kind Pennsylvania GI Bill into law. More than 3,300 dependents of Pennsylvania National Guard members have received free or low-cost higher education.
- Ensured nurses and public servants won’t have to pay state income tax on federal student loan debt relief.
November 22, 2019 | Governor Wolf visiting students at Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Head Start and PreK Counts Program in Baldwin High School, where a state grant provided STEM education to preschool students.
- Expanded Medicaid, helping 2.3 million low-income and working Pennsylvanians access health care.
- Launched Pennie, Pennsylvania’s state-based health care marketplace. Provided affordable coverage to more than 340,000 Pennsylvanians.
- Created Community HealthChoices, providing nearly 400,000 seniors and Pennsylvanians with disabilities the support and services they need.
- Legalized medical marijuana, which now provides help to 414,000 Pennsylvanians.
- Declared a statewide disaster declaration to address the opioid epidemic across the commonwealth, establishing the first-of-its-kind Opioid Command Center.
- Established a standing order to make naloxone available to anyone who needs it.
- Protected abortion providers and out-of-state people who seek abortions in Pennsylvania.
- Extended postpartum coverage for Medicaid recipients to one full year after birth.
- Required insurers to provide mental health and substance use disorder treatment coverage that’s similar to what they provide for physical health.
- Started a suicide prevention task force and launched a mental health helpline.
- Rolled out mental health trainings for first responders.
- Executed a robust response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sourced personal protective equipment (PPE) and invested in hospitals and health care workers. Made free tests available and rolled out the vaccine.
- Expanded mental health services for students and adults.
April 17, 2016 | Governor Wolf celebrates with advocates after signing into law the bill legalizing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.
Criminal Justice Reform
- Placed a moratorium on the death penalty in Pennsylvania.
- Enacted the first-of-its-kind Clean Slate Law to automatically seal certain types of criminal records – benefitting more than 1.2 million Pennsylvanians.
- Banned the box on state government employment applications.
- Signed bills into law to make the state’s justice system fairer while keeping communities safe.
- Achieved the lowest prison population in 20 years.
- Prioritized criminal justice reform and signed more than 2,000 pardons over the course of his administration
- Created a law enforcement citizen advisory commission to raise concerns and identify reforms.
- Required background checks for law enforcement applicants and mental health evaluations for officers.
July 14, 2020 | Governor Wolf with lawmakers after signing into law House bills 1841 and 1910 — the first two pieces of legislation from the governor’s police reform executive actions announced in the wake of the death of George Floyd and subsequent protests in Pennsylvania and across the country.
- Took executive action to prevent gun violence in Pennsylvania.
- Protected victims of abuse by preventing domestic abusers from possessing guns.
- Increased funding for grassroots violence prevention programs.
- Established a School Safety Task Force to make schools safer.
- Increased funding to protect organizations and communities targeted by hate crimes.
- Launched the first statewide “It’s On Us PA” initiative to prevent campus sexual assault.
- Signed an executive order to protect LGBTQIA+ Pennsylvanians from conversion therapy.
- Secured critical investments to support affordable housing development and help Pennsylvanians make home repairs.
- Improved food security in the commonwealth.
September 6, 2017 | Governor Wolf joined by students and legislators to announce It’s On Us PA legislation to combat sexual violence in K-12 schools and on college and university campuses.
- Launched online voter registration and an online mail ballot application.
- Updated voting systems in all 67 counties.
- Signed bipartisan election reform into law. This was the most significant improvement to Pennsylvania’s elections in more than 80 years.
- Pushed for a transparent and open process for redistricting, resulting in Pennsylvania’s fairest congressional maps in decades.
January 30, 2018 | Governor Wolf at a non-partisan redistricting listening session in State College.
- Set Pennsylvania’s first statewide climate goals, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2025 and by 80% by 2050.
- Made the largest government solar energy commitment in the United States. Solar power will provide nearly 50% of state government’s electricity.
- Invested more than $219 million into state energy efficiency projects. The total emissions reduction impact will be equivalent to planting 74,000 trees annually.
- Enacted a Climate Action Plan for Pennsylvania.
- Took executive action to address environmental justice.
- Joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to combat climate change while generating economic growth.
- Joined the US Climate Alliance.
- Launched Pennsylvania’s first-ever Litter Action Plan.
- Signed an executive order to create a PFAS Action Team. Launched Pennsylvania’s first program to assist communities in remediating PFAS.
- Installed more than 1,500 electric vehicle charging stations.
- Protected more than 113,000 acres of farmland from development since 2015 – making Pennsylvania a leader in farmland preservation.
- Launched the nation’s second state-led Climate Leadership Academy. Trained more than 450 public and private sector leaders to help Pennsylvania meet the challenges of climate change.
- Launched the Local Climate Action Program, empowering 380 municipalities to develop local climate action plans.
- Secured funding to support the creation of three new state parks.
September 6, 2019 | Governor Wolf at a groundbreaking ceremony in Franklin County for one of the largest solar projects in Pennsylvania.
- Increased Pennsylvania’s job growth from 45th in the nation to 19th in the nation since taking office.
- Partnered with 430 companies to create and retain nearly 194,000 jobs in the commonwealth.
- Expanded pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs across the commonwealth. There are now more than 17,000 apprentices and more than 1,580 apprenticeship programs.
- Raised the tipped wage threshold from $30 to $135. This was the first update to the Minimum Wage Act since 1977.
- Eliminated the outdated and unfair Capital Stock and Franchise Tax.
- Put Pennsylvania on a path to a Corporate Net Income Tax rate of 4.99%. This will be the seventh lowest rate in the nation.
- Reformed occupational licensure to help workers, cut red tape, and strengthen the workforce.
- Launched Manufacturing PA to support manufacturing and link job training to career pathways.
- Expanded and modernized PhilaPort, making Philadelphia the best place to ship and receive goods on the East Coast.
- Collaborated with the private sector to address the skills gap and worker shortage.
- Signed the PA Farm Bill, a first-of-its-kind package of legislation to support Pennsylvania agriculture.
- Raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour for all state employees and contractors.
- Made paid parental leave available for all state employees.
- Took action to stabilize the childcare industry during pandemic recovery.
- Expanded LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections for state employees.
- Took executive action to improve worker safety for state employees.
- Established a statewide Broadband Development Authority to expand high-speed internet access.
- Distributed grants to help more than 10,000 small businesses and the hospitality industry survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
January 7, 2019 | Governor Wolf meeting apprentices at Iron Workers Local Union No. 3 in Pittsburgh, where he talked about Pennsylvania’s job training and workforce development initiatives.
- Implemented a gift ban for the executive branch of state government.
- Placed restrictions on lobbyists.
- Required cabinet secretaries to post their expenses online each month.
- Signed bipartisan pension reform into law.
- Restricted public employees convicted of job-related felonies from receiving a public pension.
- Reformed the liquor system to expand beer and wine sales outside of state stores.
- Raised Pennsylvania’s Rainy Day Fund balance to a historic $5 billion.
- Secured a $5.3 billion budget surplus and became the first governor to turn over a budget surplus to a successor since 1987.
- Launched the nation’s first statewide LGBTQ affairs commission.
- Improved the state’s procurement processes, saving taxpayers nearly $675 million.
- Diversified state contracting. Small, diverse, and veteran businesses now make up 20% of the state’s total contractors.
- Implemented a customer service improvement initiative across state government.
January 20, 2015 | Governor Wolf being sworn in for his first term as governor. His first actions included signing an executive order later that day instituting a gift ban for executive branch employees.