Vowing to be an unconventional leader, Tom Wolf became the 47th governor of Pennsylvania today during the inaugural ceremony outside the Capitol.
“I may be the first governor in the history of Pennsylvania to operate a forklift,” Wolf said, drawing laughter from the audience, “to manage a hardware store, to volunteer and serve for the Peace Corps, and to run a business. I am not a product of our political system. During my campaign I promised to be a different kind of governor and I vow to keep that promise.”
During his 20-minute inaugural speech, Wolf laid out three priorities of his administration: jobs that pay; schools that teach; and government that works.
“As a business owner, I know that the free market requires a constructive partner in government,” Wolf said. “That means our government should not do everything… one thing it can do to create more economic opportunity is to make smart, strategic investments in public goods: investments in education, in health, in transportation infrastructure – things that set the table for robust private sector growth.”
Wolf also called for government to work on initiatives that encourage manufacturing companies to return to the commonwealth.
Concerning education, Wolf said our schools must provide our children with all the tools needed to get good jobs and be able to compete in a global economy.
“Nothing is more essential than working together to make sure every child in Pennsylvania, every child, has access to a great education. And, that all teachers have the resources they need to deliver that great education,” Wolf said. “From early childhood to college and apprenticeships and training, we must strive to provide our kids an education that is both affordable and second to none. Our schools must be our highest priority.”
Wolf said government must be good stewards of taxpayer dollars as well as stewards of a grand Democratic tradition to ensure Pennsylvania has a government that works.
“We need a government that is more efficient, and less wasteful. But we also need a government that is responsive to the concerns and needs of the people it serves,” Wolf said. “By all means, let’s get rid of things that make no sense – outdated laws, silly regulations. But let’s focus on leveling the playing field making sure all businesses, all Pennsylvanians, have a chance to get ahead. Let’s work to put the interests of our hardworking families ahead of the special interests. That is the kind of government I intend to lead.
Wolf, 65, was introduced at the ceremony by former Gov. Ed Rendell. Other Pennsylvania governors in attendance were Tom Corbett, Tom Ridge and Mark Schweiker.
Post-inaugural events include an art show at the Pennsylvania State Museum and will culminate Tuesday night in a celebration at the Hershey Lodge that will feature live musical performances and an array of cuisine from across the state.