WILKES-BARRE — Two area state legislators were in Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday, holding a rally they hope will help convince Gov. Tom Wolf not to veto a bill they say will create hundreds of jobs in our area.
Sen. John Yudichak, I-Plymouth Township, was joined by Rep. Aaron Kaufer, R-Forty Fort, for a rally at the Best Western Plus Genetti Hotel & Conference Center in downtown Wilkes-Barre, held in support of House Bill 1100.
The bill, which passed both of the legislature’s houses, seeks to establish a tax credit for energy and fertilizer manufacturing within the commonwealth, passed with bipartisan support, but Wolf has suggested he will veto the bill when it hits his desk.
Yudichak and Kaufer made it clear on Tuesday they think this is a huge mistake.
“Jobs are more important than ever,” Yudichak said to reporters before the rally.
Yudichak cited fears of an upcoming recession, specifically saying that Luzerne County faces more economic risks than other parts of the state, especially with the coming closures of both the White Haven State Center and the State Correctional Institute at Retreat.
“If a recession hits, we’re first in, last out, so it’s very important that Gov. Wolf sign House Bill 1100 so we can create these jobs,” Yudichak said.
Kaufer wrote House Bill 1100, based on a similar tax credit that led to the Shell Cracker Plant being built in western Pennsylvania, a $6 billion investment that currently employs about 7,000 people.
“In terms of jobs, it is unprecedented what has happened out in western Pennsylvania because of a tax credit we passed in 2012,” Yudichak said, saying the same thing could be done on this side of the state.
While Wolf has suggested he plans to veto the bill, Kaufer and Yudichak are asking he signs it — or, at the very least, allows it to become law without his signature, which he has done before.
The legislators said that, while overriding a veto may be difficult, they will push for it should Wolf veto the bill. The bill goes onto Wolf’s desk on March 16.