15 Jul 2013

Toshi Seeger and Respect for the Working Man and Woman

By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State Toshi Seeger’s obituary last week in The New York Times brought a smile to my face. Toshi provided her husband, the folk singer Pete Seeger, with the organizational skills without which he would have not been so influential or commercially successful. Toshi also kept

11 Jul 2013

Pennsylvania’s Unremarkable Private-Sector Job Performance

By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State Philadelphia Daily News Columnist John Baer is right to suggest that Governor Corbett’s jobs performance since January 2011 is less than “remarkable.” Baer’s critique comes in response to the Governor’s first re-election campaign ad touting “a remarkable 116,000 new private-sector jobs” since he came

10 Jul 2013

Final Pa. Budget Fails to Make Up Lost Ground

By Sharon Ward, Third and State The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has released a full detailed analysis of the 2013-14 state budget plan spending $28.376 billion, roughly $645 million (or 2.3%) more than in the 2012-13 fiscal year. Governor Tom Corbett signed the budget into law late in the

27 Jun 2013

PA Shouldn’t Miss a Real Opportunity to Close Loopholes

By Michael Wood, Third and State In the coming days, the Pennsylvania Legislature will be hammering out a deal to balance the 2013-14 state budget. One piece of the package will be a budget-related tax plan that may include a provision designed to close corporate tax loopholes. Specifically, lawmakers are

17 Jun 2013

Lives Are on the Line in PA’s Medicaid Expansion Debate

By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State Last week, hundreds of people from across Pennsylvania took the Capitol by storm to put faces to the debate over expanding Medicaid health coverage in Pennsylvania. The “Lives on the Line” rally featured a number of speakers who talked about the stress of working

11 Jun 2013

Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt

By Mark Price, Third and State Last week, the Pennsylvania Senate Banking and Insurance Committee in a narrow vote approved Senate Bill 975, opening the door to thousands of predatory payday lenders to come to Pennsylvania and charge fees on short-term loans that equal an annual interest rate of over

02 Apr 2013

Ed Rendell’s Frack Attack

By Sharon Ward, Third and State Former Governor Ed Rendell got into some hot water last week with an op-ed in the New York Daily News touting the economic benefits of hydrofracking. ProPublica quickly outed the Governor for his ties to the drilling industry, and Rendell owned up to the

20 Mar 2013

Three New Tax Breaks Will Cost PA Schools and Services

By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State After making deep cuts to schools, early childhood education, and health and human services, Pennsylvania lawmakers are now considering new tax breaks that will largely benefit a small number of higher-income earners. Last week, the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation that would create a new

13 Mar 2013

State Tax Cuts Take a Bite Out of Pennsylvania’s Budget Pie

By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State Advocates delivered half a pie to every Pennsylvania legislator Tuesday. Why half a pie? To remind them that a decade of large tax cuts for businesses has left schools, health care services, and local communities with a smaller share of the state budget pie.

19 Feb 2013

ALEC Policies Sell ‘Snake Oil to the States’

By Sharon Ward, Third and States Three national organizations offered a scathing criticism of policies endorsed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, in a conference call with reporters last week. Their findings strike a stake in the heart of ALEC claims that its view of the world —