Local lawmaker says careers, not minimum-wage jobs, should be focus
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler) today issued the following statement after Gov. Tom Wolf delivered his annual budget address to a joint session of the state House and Senate, where he proposed more than doubling the state minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 and enacting a new tax specifically on natural gas harvested in Pennsylvania:
“The governor’s focus on minimum wage jobs while taxing good-paying energy sector jobs out of the Commonwealth is misguided.
“Raising the minimum wage will not help the middle-class families that are struggling to make ends meet and living paycheck to paycheck. I believe we should focus on policies and programs that encourage hard-working Pennsylvanians to learn more so they can earn more. We want to attract good-paying jobs to the Commonwealth and give Pennsylvania workers opportunities to grow, advance and earn higher wages.
“The governor’s plan to tax natural gas harvested here in Pennsylvania will threaten good-paying jobs. We want to attract good-paying jobs, not chase them away with targeted tax hikes. The current state fee on natural gas helps fund programs and services across the Commonwealth. Enacting a tax on top of the existing natural gas fee would drive jobs out of Pennsylvania.
“As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I look forward to participating in the budget hearings that will dig into the details of the governor’s proposal during the next several weeks. We will review his proposal, look for alternatives and develop a responsible spending plan that represents the priorities of the Commonwealth.”
More information about James is available on his website at RepJames.com
or by following him on Facebook at Facebook.com/RepLeeJames
Representative Lee James
64th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing