09 Nov 2012

Will Pennsylvania Take Full Advantage of Health Reform?

By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State With the election decided, it is now clear that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. That’s great news for Pennsylvanians, some of whom have already begun to benefit from the health reform law, and many others who will see more gains as

08 Nov 2012

Pennsylvania Tax Giveaways and an Island in the Sun

By Jamar Thrasher, Third and State A few weeks ago, the Pennsylvania General Assembly fast-tracked a bill in the waning days of the legislative session to allow certain private companies to keep most of the state income taxes of new employees. News reports to follow indicated the new tax giveaway was

29 Oct 2012

Not Exactly a Mahogany-paneled Corporate Boardroom

By Kate Atkins, Third and State A hundred days after passage of the state budget, it is too soon to fully assess the impact of cuts to human services, Montgomery County’s administrator for behavioral health and developmental disabilities told a group of 50 consumers and social service providers at a budget

25 Oct 2012

More Than 180 Voter Suppression Laws Proposed

By jamar Thrasher, Third and State We have written a lot about Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law, which has been put on hold by the courts for the upcoming election. Turns out we’re not alone when it comes to voting suppression. That may not be news to you, but you may

18 Oct 2012

A Rare Victory In The Endless Fight Against Corporate Welfare

By Mark Price, Third and State In a rare victory against corporate welfare in Pennsylvania, Ahold USA has withdrawn its request for property tax breaks for a meat-packaging facility it is building in Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County. Jim Ryan, Central Penn Business Journal — Ahold drops LERTA request for

10 Oct 2012

‘How ’bout No, You Crazy Dutch….’

By Mark Price, Third and State On Monday night, the Lower Allen Township commissioners in Cumberland County considered a proposal from Ahold USA, the corporate parent of Giant Food Stores, for a $400,000 property tax abatement on a meat repackaging plant on which the company has already broken ground. (Ahold USA

09 Oct 2012

News Flash! Marcellus Shale Coalition Takes on Pennsylvania Charities

By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State Thanks to Citizens United, we are all the beneficiaries of unlimited corporate money in our elections — witness the onslaught of TV ads interrupting our ballgames and the fall lineup of TV shows. In a new twist, the very groups that agitated to spend unlimited funds

05 Oct 2012

Changing the Subject Doesn’t Make Payday Lending in PA a Better Idea

By Mark Price, Third and State In legislative hearings last month, proponents of a bill to legalize high-interest payday loans tried to change the subject and questioned the motives of some of their constituents. But these attempts don’t alter the fact that allowing payday lending is a bad idea. As

27 Sep 2012

Confused About Voter ID in Pennsylvania? You’re Not Alone

By Sharon Ward, Third and State The eyes of the nation are truly turned to Pennsylvania as the ACLU is back in court today challenging Pennsylvania’s strictest-in-the-nation Voter ID Law. The Commonwealth Court is hearing evidence to determine whether the new Department of State voter ID will do the trick

21 Sep 2012

Fact Checking PA Governor Corbett’s Jobs Record…and Some Unsolicited Advice

By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State Governor Tom Corbett’s administration has a new summary of Pennsylvania’s recent job performance. Today’s news that Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is as high as the national unemployment rate underscores, however, that the state’s recent jobs record is not  good. Let’s take a closer look. PA