22 Mar 2012

The Return of Bigfoot: Telling the Truth about Welfare Spending in Pennsylvania

A blog post by Sharon Ward, originally published at Third and State. You may remember that the Commonwealth Foundation put out a report about welfare spending a couple of weeks ago that we likened to “Bigfoot” because it found something in the Department of Public Welfare — massive fraud, millions

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21 Mar 2012

Prediction: State Budget Cuts = Rising Property Taxes = Property Taxes Revolts

A blog post by Mark Price, originally published at Third and State. A toxic cocktail of state budget choices by the Corbett administration — which include holding in reserve more than half a billion in unexpected tax revenue, corporate tax cuts and a needlessly delayed and ultimately inadequate drilling fee

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20 Mar 2012

Spending Twice as Much on Prisons as on Universities in PA

A blog post by Chris Lilienthal, originally published at Third and State. It is no secret that Governor Tom Corbett has proposed deep cuts to higher education institutions in Pennsylvania for the second year in a row. But just what do those cuts mean? Well, we have two charts at

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16 Mar 2012

Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Good Story: Private School Bus Services in PA Cost More

A blog post by Stephen Herzenberg, originally published at Third and State. The standard conservative narrative is that private delivery of services and goods trumps government delivery. In Harrisburg, for example, Governor Corbett’s Council on Privatization and Innovation often presents its goal as privatization, taking for granted that this will

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15 Mar 2012

The Future of Health and Human Services in PA

A blog post by Sharon Ward, originally published at Third and State. On Wednesday, I was on WITF’s Radio Smart Talk in Harrisburg to discuss the state of health and human services in Pennsylvania. I explained that it was important for the commonwealth to spend taxpayer money wisely, but that

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12 Mar 2012

PA Must Reads: Predicting School Districts In Distress, Privatization and Hello Düsseldorf!

A blog post by Mark Price, originally published at Third and State. The Harrisburg Patriot-News reports this morning on a new study that predicts fiscal distress in Pennsylvania school districts thanks to state budget cuts. Jan Murphy, The Patriot-News — Pennsylvania State Education Association’s report says schools are at risk

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09 Mar 2012

Business Subsidies 101: Take The Money and Run

A blog post by Mark Price, originally published at Third and State. The Allentown Morning Call reports that a plant operated by International Battery in the Lehigh Valley has closed its doors. The facility opened in 2008 with $4 million in incentives from the commonwealth. Spencer Soper, The Morning Call

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08 Mar 2012

PA Must Reads: The Governor’s Math Requires Fewer Math Teachers

A blog post by Mark Price, originally published at Third and State. Pennsylvania’s 2011-12 General Fund budget made deep cuts to education and health care while leaving unspent $620 million from a revenue surplus last year and other unused funds. We have estimated the failure to spend that revenue will

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07 Mar 2012

As Economy Picks Up, PA Revenues Take Turn for the Better

A blog post by Michael Wood, originally published at Third and State. After months of falling short of targets, Pennsylvania’s General Fund tax collections edged past the monthly estimate in February by $16 million, or about 1%. The good showing was driven largely by higher-than-expected personal income tax collections. Corporate

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05 Mar 2012

‘Cutting Training for Jobs the Economy Needs Most’

A blog post by Michael Wood, originally published at Third and State. When you have a moment, check out this New York Times article on the impact of state cuts to public higher education across the country — and the impact they are having on our economy. These types of

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