Benham issues statement in response to Gov. Wolf’s budget

HARRISBURG, Feb. 3 -- State Rep. Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny, today released the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address:

“I believe that budgets are moral documents,” Benham said. “They express not just our priorities but show our values. I’m happy that today, the governor prioritized the working Pennsylvanian, and includes a proposal for investments in job opportunities and local businesses, as well as a huge tax cut for working families. But it’s important that these opportunities are more accessible to everyone without burdensome red tape plaguing the process.

“That’s why I also call on the federal government to quickly provide additional aid. We are still facing an unparalleled crisis caused by COVID-19 and, in order to truly recover, we must have the resources to correctly address issues like housing, mental health, education, unemployment, vaccine distribution and more.

“Our commonwealth must also begin exploring new revenue sources, like a severance tax, the legalization and taxation of cannabis, and the closure of tax loopholes that have for too long allowed corporations to avoid paying their fair share.

“While I am enthused to see proposed investments in our schools, an increased minimum wage, and a tax cut for working families, we must not forget that many families across our commonwealth are still facing a looming eviction crisis on top of the global pandemic,” Benham said. “We must ensure that community health -- including mental health, hunger, housing and stability -- are priorities in this moral document."