2020: Vision to Victory

When you’re making New Year’s resolutions, it’s important to aim high, but CF’s aspirations are no pipe dream: we’re setting ambitious goals for 2020 because we know they’re achievable. With your continued help, and that of our supporters across the state, we can protect liberty and prosperity from special interests by putting power back in Pennsylvanians’ hands.

In 2019, we helped pass a massive expansion of Pennsylvania’s tax credit scholarship programs, even overcoming Gov. Wolf’s veto, to earn the largest school choice win in the country. We unit- ed families to protect charter schools against the governor’s all-out attacks. This year, we’ve set the bar even higher—we want to end waiting lists for tax credit scholarships, introduce auto- matic expansion of the programs, and facilitate legislation that would reform charter schools without harming parental choice.

By the way, did you know that local business owners are the biggest supporters of charter schools and tax credit scholarship organizations? In the coming months, therefore, we’ll be focused on making Pennsylvania a place where business- es can grow. You can read about the Taxpayer Protection Act (TPA) in Vice President Steve Bloom’s article from this issue of Commonwealth Sense—our plan is to pass the TPA in both cham- bers this year and complete the first phase of the constitutional amendment process. It’s the only way to check this administration’s reckless spend- ing—Gov. Wolf’s budget exceeded TPA again this year, and he has called for nearly $800 million to cover overspending from last year. Meanwhile, he proposed a minimum wage hike and a natural gas severance tax—policies that are sure to hurt small businesses.

Taxes will eventually have to go up if spending isn’t kept under control. This year, Gov. Wolf has proposed borrowing $1.1 billion for school infra- structure improvements and $4.5 billion for other construction and repairs—a loan burden that would be passed on to our kids. We’re fighting not only to prevent irresponsible cash grabs like these but also to pass legislation that reduces ex- cessive spending. For example, we’re working to pass safe criminal justice reforms that reduce the prison population. We’ve also set our sights on a transformative work requirement for able-bodied Medicaid recipients so that our welfare budget can be prioritized for those who need it most.

And last but most importantly, we’re going to keep striking at the root of Pennsylvania’s corrupt special interests: the power and privileges of government unions. By working alongside our allies, worker outreach group Americans for Fair Treatment and public-interest law firm the Fairness Center, we’ll continue to protect pub- lic-sector employees in their workplaces, in court, and with proworker legislation like the Employee Rights Notification Act. This year, we’re also going to expand our efforts to inform lawmakers about maintenance of membership, unions’ collection of funds, and the lack of transparency and conflicts of interest that arise from unions’ political spending.

Some might say we’re being too ambitious. But to those of you who have been part of our mission, these New Year’s resolutions represent an exciting preview of what’s to come. With your help, we’ll accomplish all this and more in 2020!