Remarks by Governor Wolf at the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania Annual Business Luncheon

first_imgRemarks by Governor Wolf at the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania Annual Business Luncheon December 03, 2015 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img African American Affairs,  Economy,  Equality,  Remarks Omni William Penn HotelPittsburgh, PATRANSCRIPT:Thank you for having me here today. Your concerns are absolutely important to me and to every Pennsylvanian who wants a strong economy.You want to promote opportunities for all. So do I.You want to break down barriers in our economy. So do I.You want a level playing field. So do I.Above all, you want a good job for everyone. So do I.The point is that you and I both know that fairness and inclusion matter to all these things. We need an economy that holds out the promise of a good job for everyone. We cannot succeed if that promise – that possibility – is not real for everyone. A society that is unfair to some is unfair to all. If we want a healthy economy, if we want strong neighborhoods, if we want good families, we must be fair to each other.There are many things we need to do to create that kind of Pennsylvania. In my administration, I am committed to making sure that state government better reflects the diversity of our citizens – in who we hire and who we do business with.I have made sure my administration is more diverse than my predecessors, including prominent African American executives – including my General Counsel, State Police Commissioner, Secretary of Corrections, Inspector General and Deputy Chief of Staff.But among the things we need to do, the most important is that we need a fair economy – a level playing field where everyone is encouraged to participate, to take risk, to work hard, to learn new skills, and to invest those talents. And that’s what I want to talk about today.This idea of fairness is important because without fairness none of the things we care about actually works. Our economy doesn’t work optimally if some people are shut out of the market’s opportunities, nor do our communities or our families. In the broadest possible sense I’m doing everything I can to promote fairness in Pennsylvania.I am doing this by investing in education for all children in all communities.I am doing this by trying to make the communities of Pennsylvania better by addressing the huge fiscal – and tax – disparities that separate too many of those communities and that consign too many of them to permanent decline.I’m doing this by trying to follow William Penn’s proud tradition of tolerance and respect by making Pennsylvania a great place to live and work for all people regardless of the color of their skin, their gender, the religion they profess, or the person they love.And I’m trying to make our economy fairer by supporting policies that do just that.For example: stronger non-discrimination laws, a higher minimum wage, more accessible voting processes, a long overdue implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and an executive order aimed at improving the participation of small and diverse businesses in state government contracting, among other things.Pennsylvania is the right place to address these issues. We have grappled with these eternal issues since our founding and we continue to wrestle with them today. That’s as it should be in a democracy that values freedom, equal opportunity, and self-reliance. It’s also as it should be in a democracy that is eternally trying to improve itself.Fairness is at the heart of any effort to promote the values all healthy democracies hold dear and it’s at the heart of any successful society.Fairness is not only right; it’s also smart. Here’s why.Our economy doesn’t work if some people feel the deck is stacked against them. Our free market economy runs on fairness. It depends on all participants feeling they have an even shot at gaining a return from the work they do, the effort they expend, or the risks they take.A tilted playing field dampens competition and it makes the game less interesting. It also makes an economy less dynamic and less productive. We can’t put up with that. Our economy cannot operate on all cylinders if all the cylinders are not allowed to operate.And what’s true of our economy is also true of our communities. Our communities can’t work if some of its members feel shut out. Healthy communities rely on broadly shared feelings of inclusion. Healthy communities are cohesive communities, where everybody feels a part – young and old, rich and poor, women and men.Pittsburgh won’t work as a strong community if all of its members are not permitted to contribute to it. Communities that make only a few people feel welcome are not really welcoming places at all, and communities that are not welcoming are not healthy.Finally, families depend on fairness. Happy families are fair families. Challenges and crises are equitably borne, so are good times. Families cannot be strong if the benefits of being part of that family are not fairly shared, or if certain members of the family are excluded from the events and experiences that together define that family.All these things matter, but we need more than just good intentions if we’re going to produce the culture of fairness we need to succeed as a society.Let’s start with our tax code. Taxes have to be: adequate, competitive, and fair. In Pennsylvania we don’t do too well here. First, we are not able to adequately fund the public goods a healthy economy needs. Second, the tax system that is in some ways so inadequate is also too high – especially when it comes to businesses.Our Corporate Net Income (CNI) tax rate is the highest in the nation at 9.99%. This is a disgrace. It needs to be much lower. I proposed cutting it in half.Our property tax system is also a disgrace. On average, it is low, but the fiscal disparities between communities has led to some very high – almost punitive – rates in some areas. We need property tax relief in the form of a higher share of education funding coming from the state. Reducing these two taxes would have a big impact on Pennsylvania’s business climate.Finally, we need to make sure the tax system is fair. We need to make sure our tax burden is spread equitably across all classes of taxpayer.Thus, while we need to reduce the CNIT, we also need to eliminate the loopholes that distort it. The current CNIT loopholes tend to reward entrenched interests at the expense of new – often innovative – businesses. We need to maintain our flat – and low – personal income tax (PIT). And once again we need to eliminate the huge fiscal disparities that exist between – sometimes adjacent – communities.This often results in excessive tax rates in some places. This variation in tax rates can produce rates that are too high, but it can also create a sense of unfairness that undermines the legitimacy of both the tax system and the political regime that sponsors it. We can also do more to make Pennsylvania fairer by making sure the way we invest state economic development dollars is fair.DCED must make sure its programs support the need for fairness. Programs like the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Program (PIDA) that are aimed at encouraging small business growth have to be organized fairly. We need to make sure that starting a business is something everyone can dream of.The point is that, Pennsylvania can do much to make it more attractive to business entrepreneurs looking for a congenial spot to locate.We have so many good qualities: our location, our workforce, two world-class cities, a noble history, great universities and colleges, great natural beauty.We need to make sure the public policies we produce complement – rather than contradict – those huge innate competitive advantages. And making Pennsylvania fairer is central to making it better. Let’s keep working together to make Pennsylvania better and stronger by making it fairer.Thanks again for having me here, and thanks for doing what you do.###Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolflast_img read more

Roberts slams new racism rules

first_img Roberts, who was critical of the FA and football’s anti-racism group Kick It Out following the John Terry racism case, said there had been a lack of leadership at the governing body. He said on Twitter: “While Uefa propose a 10 match ban for racism, the FA decides on 5! Who do they consult on these decision? Certainly not the players. The last 18 months regarding equality at the FA has consisted of bad decisions, lack of will, lack of consultation and lack of leadership!” He added: “Poor decisions on high profile cases, a weak “92” point plan and now 5 games, confirms, it is left to the players concerned to effect change.” The FA’s sanction will be the “entry level” punishment for the “least serious” discriminatory offences – including racist and homophobic abuse – with longer bans for higher level offences. Players found guilty of offences will have to attend educational programmes, and a second offence will be a minimum 10-game ban. Clubs who have two or more players found guilty of discrimination offences within a 12-month period will also face charges and could even have points deducted. Although there are no openly gay footballers in English professional football, the rules will apply to any player who uses homophobic abuse to any other player. The new rules come after a review of sanctions following the high-profile cases which saw Chelsea captain Terry banned for four matches and Liverpool forward Luis Suarez for eight games for racist abuse on the pitch. There is potential embarrassment for the FA however given that it is hosting UEFA’s Congress in London next week, and Europe’s governing body will submit a resolution recommending that all member associations follow its lead on 10 matches. FA chairman David Bernstein on Thursday defended the FA’s decision not to follow UEFA’s lead, saying the five-game ban had been agreed by all parts of the English game including Kick It Out. Press Associationcenter_img Reading striker Jason Roberts has claimed players were not consulted properly over the Football Association’s decision to bring in a five-match minimum ban for racist or other discriminatory abuse rather than follow UEFA’s 10-game sanction.last_img read more

Wisconsin coaches talk to media

first_imgAs the University of Wisconsin held its weekly press conference Monday, several head coaches were in attendance to talk about their respective teams.First among them was women’s basketball head coach Lisa Stone, who discussed about her team’s upcoming matchup with Ohio State and the Badgers’ chances of making the NCAA Tournament in March.Wisconsin wrestling head coach Barry Davis followed Stone. Davis talked about his team’s final home dual meets that await this weekend against Northwestern and No. 1 Iowa. Iowa is of particular performance as Davis is an alum.Men’s hockey head coach Mike Eaves followed Davis, discussing Wisconsin’s final home series this weekend against St. Cloud State. The series is crucial for the UW because it is the last time the Badgers face a team above them in the WCHA standings.Following Eaves was women’s swimming head coach Eric Hansen, whose squad is preparing for the Big Ten Championship meet this week. Wisconsin is ranked No. 17 nationally and hopes to win the Big Ten title as a precursor to a strong performance at the NCAA meet, which will come in another month.Last, but certainly not least, men’s basketball head coach Bo Ryan talked to members of the media about a range of topics. Among them were his team’s upcoming matchup with Minnesota, the process of returning for junior forward Jon Leuer and the leadership ability of senior guard Jason Bohannon.On the left side of this page you will find the complete audio files of today’s press conference, separated by sport.last_img read more

Women’s hoops beats Cal, loses to Stanford

first_imgThe second half was much better for USC, as it outscored the Cardinal 38-30 and held Stanford to just one made 3-pointer in the final two quarters compared to 10 in the first half.  Friday’s win was spearheaded by a balanced USC scoring attack that featured four players with double-digit points. The group was led by freshman center Angel Jackson, who had 19 points on 11 shots. Stanford led by as many as 33  points late in the first half, hitting shot after shot while playing smothering defense on the other end. After just 10 minutes of action, Stanford was leading 28-6, and the Trojans went into the locker room after an abysmal first half trailing 49-21. Pili is equally as demanding of herself. After the road trip, she expressed a desire to improve her vision and passing accuracy when she receives extra attention in the post from opposing defenses. Pili and the Trojans won the turnover battle and received significant contributions off the bench in Friday’s win, a stark contrast from Sunday’s disappointing loss. The Trojans fell in a hole early as the Cardinal seized the lead in the opening minute and never looked back.  Jackson and the Trojans benefited from strong showings by graduate guard Aliyah Jeune and freshman forward Alissa Pili, who finished with 18 and 17 points, respectively.  A bright spot for Trakh and the Trojans was another solid showing from Pili, who scored in double digits for the eighth straight game and finished with a team-high 12 points.  The Trojans’ bench production was concerning Sunday as Stanford second unit outscored USC’s reserve 36-17 — compared to a mark of 25-8 in favor of USC against Cal.center_img Trakh was encouraged by his team’s second-half resilience, commending its ability to fight back despite not hitting many shots in the first half. “Once our young kids settled down, we did fine,” Trakh said. “We’re using these games as learning experiences. Nobody has four freshmen and one sophomore out there for prolonged minutes like we do.” The USC’s women’s basketball team earned a split in a pair of tough conference road games this weekend, defeating Cal 75-67 Friday before falling to No. 6 Stanford 79-59 Sunday. Pili continues to impress for USC as she remains the Trojans’ leading scorer in her true freshman season, averaging 14.4 points per game while shooting 48.3% from the field.  Pili has certainly turned heads in her short time at USC, but head coach Mark Trakh wants to see continued improvement from her as she continues to acclimate to the collegiate level and expand her skillset moving forward. Pili was pleased with the team’s effort in the second half but said the team needs to do a better job of being mentally prepared right out of the gate against teams with multiple offensive weapons. last_img read more

Padraic Maher to captain Tipp hurlers in 2017

first_imgThe Thurles Sarsfields player takes over the role from Brendan Maher.Seamus Callanan will be the side’s vice-captain next year.last_img