Gov. Tom Wolf has provided some detail on his plans for spending revenues from a natural gas severance tax, which is estimated to bring in $300 million per year and would be used to pay debt service on a multi-billion-dollar injection for workforce development, investments in business and communities, and broadband expansion. It is PSATS’ understanding that this proposal would preserve impact fee revenues.
The workforce development prong would build on the bipartisan Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center. The governor is proposing a multi-billion-dollar injection into the workforce development system to provide rapid re-employment assistance to workers impacted by the pandemic and address barriers to employment. The proposal would address teaching new skills, apprenticeships, training opportunities, and childcare.
Investments in business and communities would focus on expanding many existing programs, such as Business in Our Sites, fostering entrepreneurs, and providing strategic planning opportunities for municipalities, including expansion of the Municipal Assistance Program, the doubling of distressed communities in Act 47 (from 43 to adding in excess of 60 additional communities), and Strategic Management Planning Program. The plan also calls for building out high-speed internet in unserved areas of the commonwealth. Click here for more.