Tom Wolf

New PA School Safety Funding On Track For March 2019

Aug 16, 2018
Dana DiFilippo / WHYY

Pennsylvania state lawmakers say they’re awaiting feedback from the state’s 500 school districts and 300 private school entities before they can disburse the first wave of funding to improve school safety. They expect to distribute the money by March 2019.

The funds are part of Act 44, a bipartisan bill signed into law in the months after the Parkland, Florida school shooting that killed 17 people.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The Wolf administration is touting a new approach to coordinating with schools on the district level around the state.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's governor is establishing a group to "help coordinate and drive statewide equality efforts" regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order Monday creating the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs.

Wolf says the 40-person panel will take over efforts that had been done by a work group he set up shortly after taking office in 2015.

Wolf, Wagner Spar Over Funding Formulas As Education Surges To Center Of PA Governor's Race

Aug 2, 2018
Emma Lee / WHYY

Republican gubernatorial nominee Scott Wagner released an attack ad Wednesday ripping Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf over education policy.

TSA via AP

  State officials say they've successfully stopped a company that makes 3D downloadable guns from making them internet-accessible in Pennsylvania and from uploading new files. But the halt is temporary.

Abortion Politics May Shadow Final Weeks Of Governor's Race

Jul 29, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

The politics of abortion could be especially prominent this fall as Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican Scott Wagner hit the final stretch of Pennsylvania's gubernatorial campaign.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania Democrats are pressuring Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner to release his tax returns. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s campaign said in a statement Monday that voters deserve to know more about the Republican’s business interests.

Wagner owns the York-based trash hauling company, Penn Waste, and his financial disclosure suggests he also has holdings in hotels, freight companies, and other enterprises.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The head of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will also lead a group within the agency that will administer $60 million for school safety funded in a new state budget package.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday tapped commission chairman Charles Ramsey to head up the new School Safety and Security Committee.

The panel is being asked to develop ways to protect teachers and students and will distribute the grants to districts and other entities.

Online Gambling Petitions Are Rolling In Ahead Of Pennsylvania's Deadline

Jul 16, 2018
Wayne Parry / AP

Applications to operate casino-style gambling online in Pennsylvania were rolling in ahead of Monday's deadline for the state's casino owners to get a license at a discounted rate of $10 million.

The deadline arrived as Pennsylvania is in the midst of an aggressive gambling expansion as the state scrounges for cash to shore up its treasury.

Under a law signed late last year by Gov. Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania became the fourth state to legalize online casino gambling, joining Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.

Wagner, Wolf Tangle Over Politics Of Funding Public Schools

Jul 12, 2018
Chris Knight / AP

Scott Wagner, the Republican candidate for governor, on Thursday accused Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf of proposing a policy that would result in deep funding cuts to certain school districts, a claim that Wolf called absurd while pointing to his record of winning more education funding across Pennsylvania.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

The state of Pennsylvania is investing an additional $10 million into an apprenticeship and job training program called PAsmart. The initiative is meant to strengthen the commonwealth's middle class and increase the amount of skilled workers in the economy, to ultimately attract more industry.

PAsmart will distribute this money through competitive grants to places such as chambers of commerce, post-secondary institutions and labor organizations.

Gov. Tom Wolf says there are currently 16,000 registered apprentices in the commonwealth.

Governor Tom Wolf / flickr

Gov. Tom Wolf and Treasurer Joe Torsella say Pennsylvania state government's improving fiscal stability means it shouldn't need a short-term liquidity loan in the just-started fiscal year.

Michael Dwyer / AP

Bernie Sanders is making his second campaign swing through Pennsylvania in two-and-a-half months, campaigning for the Democratic Party's nominee for lieutenant governor, John Fetterman.

Sunday's event is in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon University.

The Vermont senator is making a three-state swing that's also taking him to Minnesota on Friday and Wisconsin on Saturday. Sanders lost Pennsylvania's presidential primary in 2016 to the party's eventual nominee Hillary Clinton.

Casey, Wolf Press Feds For Details On Immigrant Children

Jul 3, 2018
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey pressed the Trump administration Tuesday for information about immigrant children being held in the state, separated from their families at the border after entering the country illegally.

In a letter sent to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Wolf and Casey, both Democrats, asked for answers on how many unaccompanied immigrant children are being held in Pennsylvania, where precisely they are living and what plans there are to reunite them with their parents.

Gov. Wolf Calls For Drastic School Funding Shake-Up In Surprise Announcement

Jul 2, 2018
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Governor Tom Wolf called for a major change to the way Pennsylvania funds schools Friday, advocating for the state to distribute its largest pot of school money in a way that would benefit the majority of students in the state, but would likely cause deep cuts in many districts.

During questions at a press conference in Philadelphia, Wolf said the state should push all basic education money through the formula it adopted two years ago.

Wolf Puts Tax Plans Far Behind Him As He Seeks A 2nd Term

Jul 1, 2018
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Gone is the governor who had ambitious plans to overhaul Pennsylvania's tax structure and pump billions more into the state treasury to fix deficits and public school funding disparities. Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat running for a second term, doesn't talk about that anymore.

"Who's talking about raising taxes?" he questioned a TV reporter last month who asked Wolf about the prospect of raising taxes this year.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Governor Tom Wolf has signed a bill to wipe clean criminal records for certain low-level offenders if they go a decade without any other convictions.

The so-called “Clean Slate” measure has garnered bipartisan support. Notably, Wolf and his gubernatorial challenger Scott Wagner agreed on the measure while the Republican was in the Senate.

Under the new law, people who serve a year or more in prison can petition courts to have their records sealed after 10 years, as long as they’ve made all their court-mandated payments.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

For the first time in Gov. Tom Wolf’s tenure, he has signed a budget. And after three years of protracted negotiations, the election year plan is finished well ahead of its June 30 deadline.

The modest, compromise measure spends $32.7 billion—a roughly two percent increase over last year.

New spending goes mostly to public schools, pensions, prisons and human services—including about $800 million in one-time funding for Medicaid that was moved off-budget, which will have to be filled in again next year.

Republicans cheered the lack of new taxes.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

For the first time in Governor Tom Wolf’s tenure, he has signed a budget on time. And after three years of protracted negotiations, the election year plan is finished well ahead of its June 30th deadline.

The modest, compromise measure spends $32.7 billion—a roughly two percent increase over last year.

New spending goes mostly to public schools, pensions, prisons and human services—including about $800 million in one-time funding for Medicaid that was moved off-budget, which will have to be filled in again next year.

Republicans cheered the lack of new taxes.

$32.7B Spending Plan Heads To Pennsylvania Governor's Desk

Jun 22, 2018
Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The main appropriations bill in a $32.7 billion spending package for Pennsylvania's approaching fiscal year is heading to Gov. Tom Wolf's desk, more than a week early.

Cornelia Wolf, Mother of Pennsylvania Governor, Dies At 94

Jun 21, 2018
Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

The mother of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has died at age 94.

The governor's office announced Cornelia Rohlman Westerman Wolf died Thursday at her home in Mount Wolf.

A statement from the governor says his mother's strength anchored their family and she will be deeply missed.

Wolf's office says arrangements are pending.

(Photo credit: Governor Tom Wolf/flickr)

Both photos by Matt Rourke / AP

A fundraising visit by Vice President Mike Pence has sparked a health care debate in Pennsylvania's race for governor.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner supports raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage above $7.25 an hour, but not as high as Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed.

During a campaign stop in Robinson Friday, he said Wolf’s proposal to increase it to $12 an hour goes too far.

Instead, Wagner favors a wage in the $8.75 to $9.50 range. At that level, Wagner said, there’s less risk that employers in the service sector will replace workers with automation.

Matt Rourke / AP

Five months ahead of the general election, a new survey from Franklin and Marshall College shows Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf with a considerable lead over Republican challenger Scott Wagner.

F&M pollster Terry Madonna said in order to gage a governor’s likely reelection success, he often pits them against former incumbents.

At an equivalent point in his first term, former Democratic Governor Ed Rendell, who won reelection, was about even with Wolf.

Tom Corbett, a Republican who didn’t get a second term, polled well below.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's election-year message to members of the business community revolved Monday around Pennsylvania's improved job growth and his accomplishments with a Republican-controlled Legislature.

Kiichiro Sato / AP

President Donald Trump rescinded his invitation to the Philadelphia Eagles this week after reports suggested only about 10 players of the 90-member, Super Bowl-winning squad were planning to attend. The President tied the decision to past criticism of players who protested police brutality and harsh treatment of African Americans by kneeling during the "National Anthem."

Office of the Governor

Pennsylvania's minimum wage has been stagnant at the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour for the last 10 years, which is at least $1 less than every neighboring state.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Governor Tom Wolf has signed an executive order to change certain hiring practices in select state government jobs, in an effort to cut down on gender-based wage discrimination.

House OKs Bill To Relax Rules For Shallow Gas, Oil Drilling

Jun 6, 2018
Joe Ulrich / WITF

A Republican bill to relax regulations on the shallow oil and gas drilling that has gone on in Pennsylvania for more than a century passed the state House Tuesday despite firm opposition from Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

The GOP-majority chamber voted 111-84 for a proposal that covers permits, rules for wells, spills and enforcement for drilling that does not include the much deeper wells tapping into the Marcellus Shale formation.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The current Pennsylvania budget, which ends June 30, was more than four months late in being completed. Two years earlier, in Gov. Tom Wolf’s first year in office, the budget impasse lasted nearly nine months.

In February, Wolf unveiled a $33 billion spending plan for fiscal year 2019. That’s a $1 billion increase, or 3 percent over the current budget. 

There’s been little political rancor over the budget this year, compared to last when the governor and legislature were wrestling with a $2 billion deficit.

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