In Case You Missed It

This Week at Third and State: PA Budget, Immigrant Small Business Owners and Public-Sector Job Losses

This week at Third and State, we blogged about mounting job losses among teachers and other public-sector workers, immigrants contributing to the state's economy as small business owners, House amendments to a state budget bill, the latest Independent Fiscal Office revenue estimate, liquor privatization and more. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On education, jobs and the economy, Chris Lilienthal blogged about a New York Times editorial this week on teacher job losses across the nation and highlighted Pennsylvania's public-sector job losses so far in 2012.
  • On immigration, Mark Price wrote about a new report showing that an increasing share of small business owners in Pennsylvania and the nation are immigrants.
  • On the state budget, Michael Wood shared his overview of House amendments to the budget bill. Mike also blogged about the revenue estimate released this week by the Independent Fiscal Office, showing that Pennsylvania will take in $626 million more in 2011-12 and 2012-13 than the Corbett administration anticipated in February.
  • On privatization, Stephen Herzenberg summed up the Keystone Research Center's analysis of an effort to privatize Pennsylvania's liquor stores, which is likely to have significant negative impacts on the state’s fiscal and public health. Later in the week, Mark Price had an update on the liquor privatization debate, which stalled in the state House but is scheduled to begin again on Monday.
  • On property taxes, Michael Wood blogged about voter rejection of a plan to eliminate property taxes in North Dakota and what that could mean for a similar plan in Pennsylvania.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

This Week at Third and State: Tax Break for Shell Cracker Plant, Payday Lending and Budget Myths

This week at Third and State, we blogged about Governor Tom Corbett's proposal to give Shell Oil Co. a $1.65 billion tax credit over 25 years for building an ethane cracker plant in Pennsylvania. We also wrote about the passage of legislation in the state House to legalize predatory payday lending, the myths behind Governor Corbett's budget myths, the national job numbers for May, and more. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward blogged about the five "myths" the Corbett administration claims are circulating about the governor's proposed budget — and the myths behind the myths.
  • On tax policy, Mark Price highlighted a Philadelphia Daily News report on Governor Corbett's proposal to give Shell a $1.6 billion tax credit for locating an ethane cracker plant in the state. Chris Lilienthal wrote about a Capitolwire report asking whether Shell should get such a large tax break for jobs that other companies may bring to Pennsylvania.
  • On consumer protection, Mark Price was on top of developments with the payday lending bill, which passed the House on Wednesday. He had updates here and here and blogged about the bill's final passage here.
  • On job and the economy, Mark Price made sense of the national jobs numbers for May. He also took a look at the impact of economic austerity on Pennsylvania schools.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Third and State This Week: PA Budget, Liquor Privatization, Very Hot Working Conditions and CEO Pay

This week at Third and State, we blogged about where the state budget is at, protesters pressuring Amazon to install air conditioning in warehouses, how much CEOs earned in 2011 and more. Plus, we responded to attacks on a recent Keystone Research Center report on alcohol privatization and alcohol-related traffic deaths.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On privatization, Stephen Herzenberg responded to an attack from a spokesman with the Commonwealth Foundation on a recent Keystone Research Center report showing that states like Pennsylvania which tightly control alcohol distribution have fewer alcohol-related traffic deaths as a result.
  • On the workplace, Michael Wood highlighted a news report on how protesters pressured Amazon into installing air conditioning in its warehouses across the U.S.
  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward shared her memo to reporters and editors providing an overview of where things are at with the budget.
  • On education and the economy, Mark Price wrote about recent news reports on student loan debt for college dropouts and new figures showing that the typical CEO made $4,615 an hour in 2011.
  • And on health care, Chris Lilienthal noted a news report on efforts by conservative groups to persuade states to not create state-level health insurance exchanges.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Third and State This Week: An Education Priorities Problem, Payday Lending, and a Bait and Switch

All of us at Third and State hope you have a great Memorial Day Weekend. Before heading to your weekend barbecues, check out our blog wrap. We wrote this week about a statewide day of action for education, a new survey of school districts squeezed by budget cuts, and a bait and switch approach to tax credit programs for private school scholarships. We also had posts on payday lending, the prevailing wage and more. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On education and the state budget, Mark Price summed up the news coverage from the statewide day of action to mark Education Advocacy Week and explained why the state's approach to school funding is more a priorities problem than a revenue problem. Chris Lilienthal blogged about a new survey of school districts indicating that more cuts to the classroom are on the way thanks in part to state funding cuts. And Stephen Herzenberg wrote that the political marketing of private school scholarship tax credits as alternatives for students in distressed communities is a bait and switch.
  • On federal tax policy and the economy, Chris Lilienthal shared a Marketplace interview with wealthy venture capitalist Nick Hanauer who said that investing in the middle class, rather than tax breaks for the wealthy, is the key to future and shared prosperity.
  • And in Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted an editorial on why legalizing predatory payday loans would be bad for Pennsylvania, and passed on a letter to the editor showing that actual Pennsylvania job creators support the state's prevailing wage law.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Third and State This Week: PA Jobs Report, Uncompensated Care Costs at Hospitals & Alcohol-Related Traffic Deaths

This week at Third and State, we blogged about Pennsylvania's April jobs numbers and state revenue report, a new report on uncompensated care costs at hospitals in the commonwealth, rates of alcohol-related traffic deaths in alcohol control states, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price blogged about Pennsylvania’s April jobs report and an effort to undermine the state’s unemployment insurance system.
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal wrote about a new report from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council finding that uncompensated care costs at hospitals rose 11% in 2010-11, the same year the state ended the adultBasic program.
  • On the privatization of alcohol distribution, Mark Price shared a new Keystone Research Center analysis finding that states with tighter control over the sale and distribution of alcohol have lower alcohol-related traffic deaths than states that take a more hands off approach.
  • On state taxes, Michael Wood wrote about the April state revenue report, which marked the third straight month of collections exceeding monthly estimates.
  • And in Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news coverage of an effort to legalize predatory payday lending in Pennsylvania and what that has to do with motor vehicle fatalities among oil and gas workers; stories on Governor Tom Corbett’s question-and-answer session at a Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce event; the Governor’s “Do as I say, not as I do” message to school districts; and the importance of training programs targeted to the needs of employers as the economy recovers.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Third and State This Week: PA Senate Approves Budget, Payday Lending Advances & a Harrisburg Rally

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the Pennsylvania Senate's passage of a budget, movement on a bill to legalize predatory payday lending in the state, a big rally at the state Capitol, analysis of the April jobs report, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward wrote about the Senate's passage of a state budget bill this week that improves upon the Governor's budget but still makes deep cuts to education and health services. Earlier in the week, she had a blog post on the Senate budget when details first emerged. Chris Lilienthal highlighted a Monday rally at the Capitol that brought 700 Pennsylvanians to Harrisburg to call on lawmakers and the Governor to save the General Assistance program and restore cuts proposed to county services for children, the homeless and people with disabilities. Plus, Mark Price blogged about concerns that the state will not spend all the tax revenue it collects, creating a further drag on the economy.
  • On banking, Mark Price blogged about committee approval of a state House bill that would legalize predatory payday lending in Pennsylvania and what that would mean for the state's consumers and economy.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price shared analysis of April's U.S. jobs report.
  • Finally, Mark Price had a roundup of news on the economic impact of state and federal budget cuts, the prospect of higher interest rates on student loans and the geography of manufacturing. 

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Third and State This Week: A Brighter Revenue Picture, Impact of Corporate Tax Cuts and Payday Lending

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a new revenue report from the Independent Fiscal Office offering a more upbeat view of the economy moving forward, and the likely impact of a state House-approved bill to reduce corporate taxes by nearly $1 billion by the end of the decade. We also posted Morning Must Reads on payday lending legislation and the economic cost of an asset test for Pennsylvanians in need of food assistance.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward blogged about the Independent Fiscal Office's new report predicting a smaller revenue shortfall for the current year and more robust revenue collections for 2012-13. Mark Price also had analysis on the new revenue report, noting that state budget cuts have hurt job growth.
  • On tax policy, Chris Lilienthal wrote about the House's approval of a plan to reduce corporate taxes by nearly $1 billion by the end of the decade without any commitment from businesses to put Pennsylvanians back to work. Sharon Ward shared her Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed on this bill and a memo she sent to editors and reporters outlining her concerns with the bill.
  • Finally, Mark Price had Morning Must Reads on legislation in the state House to legalize payday loans charging upwards of 300% in annual percentage rates, and the lost economic activity from implementing an asset test for people receiving food stamps.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

This Week at Third and State: Corporate Tax Cuts, Payday Lending, More on Inequality and Food Stamp Challenge

This week at Third and State, we blogged about state legislation that would cut corporate taxes by close to a billion dollars by the end of the decade, what inequality has to do with the funding of infrastructure, the Philadelphia Food Stamp Challenge, payday lenders eyeing a return to Pennsylvania, and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward highlighted concerns about a state House bill that would cut corporate taxes by close to a billion dollars by the end of the decade.
  • On income inequality, Chris Lilienthal blogged about a recent op-ed connecting inequality with an underfunding of the nation's infrastructure. In Morning Must Reads on inequality, Mark Price shared a New York Times analysis on increasing income inequality in America and an editorial on the "festering problem" of exorbitant CEO pay.
  • On poverty and food assistance, Chris Lilienthal blogged about the Philadelphia Food Stamp Challenge going on this week and the importance of food assistance to Pennsylvania families struggling in this economy.
  • On the financial industry, Mark Price had a Morning Must Read highlighting news coverage of an effort by payday lenders to advance legislation in Pennsylvania allowing interest rates on short-term loans as high as 419%.
  • Finally, Mark Price had a Morning Must Read on rising mortgage foreclosures and an effort to provide better disclosure of fees for 401K plans.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Third and State This Week: Closing Loopholes on Tax Day, Angry Shareholders and PA Job Numbers

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a call to close tax loopholes on Tax Day, shareholders unhappy with big CEO paydays, Equal Pay Day, new state job numbers and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On tax and budget issues, Chris Lilienthal highlighted where our tax dollars are invested, while Sharon Ward blogged about a Tax Day call to close corporate tax loopholes in Harrisburg. Chris also passed on the Top 10 Tax Facts from Demos and The American Prospect.
  • On income inequality, Michael Wood wrote about a couple of recent instances of CEOs being taken to task by shareholders over excessive pay.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price broke down the new Pennsylvania job numbers, and told us all about Equal Pay Day.
  • Finally, on higher education, Mark blogged about news stories on falling state support for higher ed and rising student loan debt.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Third and State This Week: Better Budget Choices, Income Inequality After the Recession & the Minimum Wage

This week at Third and State, we blogged about March state revenues and better budget choices, income inequality in the wake of the recession, efforts to raise the minimum wage, and much more. Plus an early Tax Day Friday Funny.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Michael Wood wrote about some hopeful news in the March revenue collections, and Chris Lilienthal shared an op-ed by the co-chairs of Better Choices for Pennsylvania calling on lawmakers to close loopholes and delay unaffordable tax cuts before making more cuts that hurt children and families.
  • On income inequality, intern Jheanelle Chambers blogged about an eye-popping chart from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showing that in 2009, despite the weak economy, the top 1% of households captured $1.32 trillion in gross income while the bottom 50% earned $1.06 trillion.
  • In a Morning Must Read on jobs and wages, Mark Price blogged that it is time to get serious about raising the minimum wage in Pennsylvania and the nation.
  • In other Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news reports on the challenges facing young workers in this economy; macho governors; and why women tend to be hurt more than men by public-sector job cuts.
  • And the Friday Funny featured a video from Citizens for Tax Justice on Mitch, a shoe store manager who wants to pay no taxes like GE.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

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