In Allentown, Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf pushes budget plan to boost educational funding

Energy Associated Press

Gov. Tom Wolf took his campaign for a state budget with more education funding to Allentown on Friday, saying people across Pennsylvania have said they want schools to be a priority, along with property tax relief.

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The Express-Times of Easton (http://bit.ly/1A4w8SH ) reported that the Democratic governor emphasized the role schools play in the state's economy.

"If we want a strong economy, we need a good education system," he said.

Wolf, joined at Muhlenberg Elementary by Allentown's mayor and state lawmakers, has proposed higher taxes on sales, income, natural gas drilling and tobacco products to finance more than $4 billion in new education funding and cuts to corporate and property taxes.

By Wolf's count, his plan would increase overall state spending through the state's main bank account by less than 3 percent to $29.9 billion. Counting pension obligations and collections for school property tax relief, the increase is about 16 percent, to $33.7 billion.

Legislative budget hearings begin in Harrisburg next week, the start of a process of developing budget legislation that usually passes in June or July.

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Information from: The (Easton, Pa.) Express-Times, http://www.lehighvalleylive.com