23 May 2012

Educational Tax Credits Are Often a Bait-and-Switch

By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State   A story in Monday’s New York Times explores the use of state tax credit programs to pay for “scholarships” for students who attend private schools. The story suggests that many of the students who receive such scholarships already attend private school and are

18 May 2012

Uncompensated Care Costs Rise at PA Hospitals

By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State More than a year ago, the Corbett administration decided to end the state’s adultBasic program, which provided affordable health insurance to about 40,000 low-income Pennsylvanians who were unable to obtain coverage from an employer or through other programs. We worried at the time that

18 May 2012

PA Job Numbers Out, The War On Unemployment Insurance, and Inequality

By Mark Price, Third and State Happy Sunny Friday, people! Now for the not so good news. The job numbers for Pennsylvania came out Thursday, and the overall picture was somewhat disappointing. The unemployment rate edged down slightly to 7.4% and nonfarm payrolls declined by 600 jobs. Focusing on the

16 May 2012

Pennsylvania Hunger Games Diet: Cash for Corporations, Cuts for Kids

By Mark Price, Third and State On Tuesday Marty Moss-Coane, the host of WHYY’s Radio Times, moderated a question-and-answer session with Governor Tom Corbett at an event sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. The Governor ran wild with analogies. Bob Fernandez, The Philadelphia Inquirer — With protesters nearby,

09 May 2012

Predatory Payday Lending Bill Flies Out of Cramped PA House Committee

By Mark Price, Third and State Room 148 of the State Capitol might as well double as a Capitol broom closet. That’s where the House Consumer Affairs Committee this morning rushed out amendments to House Bill 2191, which legalizes predatory payday lending in Pennsylvania. The amendments to HB 2191 were

08 May 2012

Let the Games Begin: PA Senate Announces Details of Budget Proposal

By Sharon Ward, Third and State Action on the state budget began in earnest Monday with state Senator Jake Corman, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, releasing important details on the Senate budget plan that will be advanced this week. The proposal would increase Governor Tom Corbett’s budget proposal by $500

04 May 2012

Good News on PA Revenue But Don’t Count Your Blessings Just Yet

By Sharon Ward, Third and State Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released its revenue estimate this week, offering a more upbeat view of the economy moving forward. The official revenue estimate predicts a smaller revenue shortfall for the current year and more robust revenue collections for 2012-13. The IFO estimate

26 Apr 2012

A Decade of Deep Cuts in PA. Don’t Let It Happen.

By Sharon Ward, Third and State Deep state cuts have already put health care at risk for kids and denied help to families struggling in this economy. They have put thousands out of work in schools, colleges, nursing care facilities and hospitals. Think that’s bad? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

25 Apr 2012

Inequality and Infrastructure

By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State U.S. funding of infrastructure has declined dramatically since the 1960s, and Congress appears to be moving in the direction of even more cutbacks in the years ahead. There is a bit of irony to this. With borrowing costs still very low and the market

20 Apr 2012

March Job Numbers For Pennsylvania and CEO Pay

By Mark Price, Third and State The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry released new data for March on Pennsylvania’s employment situation. According to the household survey, the unemployment rate edged down slightly to 7.5%, and the survey of employers showed healthy growth in nonfarm payrolls of 7,800 jobs. As