Historic improvement in Pennsylvania’s finances paves the way for a bright future

After inheriting the chaos of a multi-billion dollar budget deficit seven years ago, Governor Tom Wolf has led a historic improvement in state finances that is creating a brighter future for students, residents and businesses. . The Governor was joined today by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald at the Energy Innovation Center in Pittsburgh to highlight how Pennsylvania’s economic strength is supporting investments that change lives.

“When I became governor, Pennsylvania was in a precarious financial situation,” Governor Wolf said. “Like many new governors, I inherited a structural deficit. In my case, it was between 2 and 3 billion dollars.

“As a former business owner, I know what it takes to balance the books. Over the past seven years, we have turned Pennsylvania’s shaky finances around. Striving to face the facts and pay our bills, my administration has put Pennsylvania back on track.

When Governor Wolf took office, Pennsylvania was operating with a structural deficit of $2-3 billion and the Rainy Day Fund had fallen to just $231,000.

Today, the Rainy Day Fund contains $2.8 billion to protect Pennsylvania from future emergencies, and Independent Tax Office plans call for Governor Wolf to transfer a budget surplus to the next administration. Governor Wolf will be the first governor to leave office with a budget surplus since Governor Dick Thornburgh in 1987.

Improving government finances is one of the reasons our economy is growing. Pennsylvania has the 18th largest economy in the world, larger than the economies of Saudi Arabia, Switzerland or Turkey.

“Our economic success and fiscal strength add up to a huge win for Pennsylvanians,” Governor Wolf said. “This is further proof of something I’ve always known to be true: that sound financial management and investments that make a difference in the lives of Pennsylvanians go hand in hand.

“As we fixed the finances of our Commonwealth, my administration made historic investments in the people of Pennsylvania.”

When Governor Wolf took office, schools across the Commonwealth had been devastated by drastic cuts in education funding under the previous administration. The Wolf administration has invested nearly $2 billion in education funding to give our schools the resources they need and our students the future they deserve. In 2021 alone, the Wolf administration oversaw a historic $416 million increase in education funding.

The Wolf administration has also made major investments to make health care more accessible and affordable for Pennsylvanians on a budget, support workers through workforce training and increase learning opportunities, boost economic growth through investments in businesses and entrepreneurs, and more.

“Governor Wolf’s work to stabilize and improve state finances was clearly seen here,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Since 2014, our GDP has grown steadily, showing a 16% increase over the past few years. We have seen growth in employment, population and the number of businesses locating here representing multiple industries. Our region can certainly take credit for this, but it also reflects the fact that businesses and organizations have confidence in our state government and its financial position because of the work done under this administration.

“Despite an unprecedented crisis that has unfolded over the past few years, our Commonwealth is in a strong financial position with healthy reserves and a budget surplus,” said Representative Jake Wheatley. “It is essential that we invest these funds where they will do the most good – in our families, schools and communities, so that Pennsylvania can emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever. Pennsylvania is a Commonwealth, and it’s up to us in the Legislature to make smart investments for the greater good.

“Our Commonwealth’s fiscal strength right now is proof that Pennsylvania can and should invest in schools, health care, and create good jobs while saving for a rainy day,” Governor Wolf said. “We must continue to invest in the people of Pennsylvania. It’s how we change lives, and it’s how we set our community on the path to a better future. Now is the time to step up, seize the moment, and make generational investments that will set Pennsylvania on the path to prosperity for years to come.