Posts by chris lilienthal

Morning Must Read: House GOP Budget to Trim $100 Million from Governor's February Proposal

House Republican leaders will hold a press conference at 11:30 a.m. this morning to unveil their plan for the 2013-14 state budget. The Allentown Morning Call is reporting this morning that the bill will be $100 million less than the $28.4 billion budget proposed by Governor Tom Corbett in February:

The Quiet Before the Storm

The State Capitol is quiet this week, but things will pick up quickly after the Memorial Day Weekend. Pennsylvania House leaders expect to introduce a 2013-14 budget bill on Tuesday, with a vote to follow the week of June 10.

Will There Be New Cuts in PA House Budget Bill?

Pennsylvania House leaders plan to introduce a 2013-14 budget bill on May 28, with a vote to follow the week of June 10.

Morning Must Read: PA's Low Tax Rate on Shale Drilling

The Associated Press has a good story highlighting just how much Pennsylvania is giving up over time by enacting a Marcellus Shale impact fee that assesses one of the lowest tax rates on natural gas drilling among the nation's major energy-producing states.

Expanding Medicaid Coverage in PA Will Save Lives

I have written about the economic benefits of expanding Medicaid health coverage in Pennsylvania, but what often goes unmentioned in this debate is just how critical the expansion is to the commonwealth's public health. It will make Pennsylvanians healthier and more financially stable — and even save lives.

More Evidence that Expanding Health Care Is Good for PA's Economy and Budget

I know, we're starting to sound like a broken record here, but two new studies once again demonstrate that Pennsylvania’s economy and state budget will get a big boost if the commonwealth accepts federal funding allocated to expand Medicaid health coverage.

PA House Moving Governor's Costly Corporate Tax Cut Plan

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on the Governor's plan to enact hundreds of millions in new corporate tax cuts that come at the expense of investments in schools, colleges, human services, adult literacy and other critical areas.

PA Unemployment Rate Drops as Thousands Drop Out of Labor Force

Pennsylvania's unemployment fell by two-tenths of a percentage point from 8.1% in February to 7.9% in March, according to new data out this afternoon. As Ann Belser at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, much of the decline was due to workers dropping out of the labor force:

The declining unemployment rate was more from people dropping out of the labor force than from unemployed residents finding jobs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed that while the number of unemployed people fell in the state by 45,600 people, the number of people working only rose by 14,600, which means that 31,000 people dropped out of the state's labor force.

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate, at 7.9%, remained above the national jobless rate of 7.6% in March.

On Tax Day, Understanding Where Our Tax Dollars Go

With the deadline upon us for filing state and federal tax returns, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has put together a resource web page to help you understand what your tax dollars support. We also highlight reports and educational materials on closing tax loopholes and improving overall tax fairness.

As the chart to the right shows, most of the federal budget supports defense, Social Security and major health programs. As federal policymakers and citizens weigh key decisions about revenues and expenditures, it is instructive to examine what the federal government does with the money it collects. The chart is from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Public investments by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania educate our children, keep our communities safe, move people to work over roads and transit systems, and care for seniors, children and people with disabilities. More than 80 cents of every state General Fund dollar is spent on education, health and human services, or public safety. See the graphic below detailing General Fund spending in 2012-13.

Friday Infographic: Two Tax Credits that Work for PA

The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit help working families make ends meet by both rewarding work and recognizing the additional expenses of raising children, as this infographic shows. Yet the U.S. House has approved a budget that makes a number of changes to both credits that could end up costing working families billions. Learn more about what’s at stake with these two tax credits in the federal budget debate and click on the infographic for a larger view.

Two Tax Credits that Work for PA