In Case You Missed It

Third and State This Week: Taking on Prevailing Wage, Loopholes vs. Budget Cuts and a Growing Menace

In a number of blog posts this week, we debunked the claims of advocates for repealing or scaling back the state's prevailing wage law. We also shared a chart comparing state tax breaks to budget cuts and posted a Friday Funny featuring the scariest movie trailer this year — on the growing menace of corporate tax loopholes.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and wages, Mark Price published Part 2 and Part 3 of his series fact-checking inaccurate claims about Pennsylvania's prevailing wage law. Part 1 ran last Friday. Mark also explained that to save 50% on public construction projects from repealing prevailing wage, workers would have to pay to work. Finally, Stephen Herzenberg made the case that employing low-wage, low-skill workers on small and medium-sized state-funded construction projects, with no benefit to taxpayers and negative impacts on local economies, is a dumb policy.
  • On the state budget, Chris Lilienthal shared a chart detailing funding cuts that could be restored by closing tax loopholes.
  • In the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news reports on young workers in the Great Recession; a profile of a pacemaker-dependent child who was denied health care by the state; and the fallout from cutting state support for pre-k and higher education.
  • And the Friday Funny featured a video from Ed Voters that begins: "There's a growing menace and it's coming after you and your family. The horror ... the corporate tax loophole!"

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

Third and State This Week: Being Fair to Business, Prevailing Wage Facts and a Little Health Care Irony

This week at Third and State, we fact-checked inaccurate claims on prevailing wage and blogged about closing corporate tax loopholes, growing the state's budget pie and an irony in the Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Plus a recap of what leading economists had to say about the February job numbers and, of course, the Morning Must Reads.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and wages, Mark Price posted the first of a three-part series fact-checking inaccurate claims about Pennsylvania's prevailing wage law. The other two posts will be published on Monday and Tuesday.
  • On state budget and taxes, Sharon Ward shared her Pittsburgh Post-Gazette letter to the editor saying that to be truly fair to all businesses Pennsylvania needs to close corporate tax loopholes. Chris Lilienthal highlighted an event this week in Harrisburg that featured pie and a "close the loopholes" message for lawmakers.
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal shared an editorial from the Harrisburg Patriot-News noting a little irony in the Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act.
  • With the national jobs report for March due out next week, intern Jheanelle Chambers recapped what D.C.’s leading economists had to say about the February job numbers.
  • And in the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news reports on massive public-sector job losses after the 2010 election, articles on accounting scandals and differing views of how to rebuild the economy, and stories on pensions and crony capitalism. Finally, Chris Lilienthal highlighted news stories on the likely impact of proposed state cuts to health care and other services, including treatment for people trying to overcome addiction.

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

Third and State This Week: Bigfoot, Preventative Care and Health Reform Turns 2

This week at Third and State, we set the record straight about welfare spending in Pennsylvania and explained why it makes sense for insurers to cover preventative health care. We also blogged about property taxes rising as a result of state budget cuts, the second birthday of the Affordable Care Act, and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On health care and public welfare, Sharon Ward explained why a recent report on welfare spending in Pennsylvania is a lot like Bigfoot, finding something in the Department of Public Welfare that just doesn't exist.
  • On health care, intern Jheanelle Chambers explained why it is important for health insurance to continue to cover preventative care, which increases both the quality and the length of people's lives. Chris Lilienthal had a post on the positive impact that the Affordable Care Act (which turns 2 today) is having on the lives of millions of Americans.
  • On higher education, Chris Lilienthal shared a chart from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center showing that if the Governor's 2012-13 budget proposal is enacted, Pennsylvania will spend twice as much on prisons as on colleges and universities.
  • And in the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news reports on state budget cuts driving school districts to raise property taxes and cut staff, and some good news for Pittsburgh and Chester County.

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

This Week at Third and State: School Bus Contracting, Voter ID and the Misguided Food Stamps Asset Test

This week, we blogged about a new report on the higher costs of contracting out school bus transportation to private companies, the expensive voter ID bill approved this week, an op-ed from the CEO of Weis Markets on the misguided asset test being proposed for food assistance, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On privatization, Stephen Herzenberg blogged about a new Keystone Research Center report finding that private school bus transportation services in Pennsylvania cost more than when districts provide their own transportation, underscoring that privatization is not always the best option.
  • On voter ID, Chris Lilienthal wrote about this costly plan earlier in the week and later included a link to a news story after its final passage on Wednesday.
  • On food assistance, Chris Lilienthal highlighted an op-ed by Weis Markets CEO David J. Hepfinger explaining what a bad idea it is to impose an assets test on people who are seeking food assistance.
  • On health care, Sharon Ward shared the podcast of her appearance on WITF's Radio Smart Talk, in which she discussed the future of health and human services in Pennsylvania.
  • And in the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted a news report on a new study that predicts fiscal distress in Pennsylvania school districts thanks to state budget cuts, articles comparing the gas booms in North Dakota and Pennsylvania, and a piece examining whether the settlement between states and mortgage lenders over questionable document processing is accelerating foreclosure activity.

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

Third and State This Week: Math Teachers Getting Pink Slips, Take the Money and Run, and Revenue Update

This week, we blogged about math teachers getting pink slips, a "take the money and run" philosophy on business subsidies, state revenues in February, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On education, Mark Price explained why laying off math teachers, as some districts are doing to address funding shortfalls, is very bad decision that risks harming our long-term economic growth. Michael Wood highlighted a New York Times article on the impact of state cuts to public higher education across the country.
  • On economic development, Mark Price was humming the Steve Miller Band's "Take the Money and Run" when he heard about the closing of a battery company's Lehigh Valley operations, after the facility opened in 2008 with $4 million in business subsidies from the state.
  • On the state budget, Michael Wood wrote that February's General Fund revenue collections took a turn for the better in Pennsylvania.
  • And in other Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price blogged about top incomes and adultBasic, the economic anxieties of the 1% versus the 99%, and water privatization in Harrisburg.

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

Third and State This Week: adultBasic One Year Later, What Works in PA and Income Inequality

This week, we blogged about "What Works in Pennsylvania," the one-year anniversary of adultBasic's end, income inequality and cuts to higher education, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal wrote about a year of struggle for the Pennsylvanians who lost their adultBasic health care coverage this time last year.
  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward sat down with Tony May of Triad Strategies to discuss the 2012-13 state budget and shared a video of the interview. Chris Lilienthal also shared a video from the Campaign for What Works illustrating a key message for lawmakers: "Pennsylvania works when our state budget supports what works."
  • In the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price blogged about how cuts to higher ed funding contribute to income inequality, transit cuts and job training, how high unemployment is straining the safety net, and a roundup on closing tax loopholes, preventative care and health reform.

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

Third and State This Week: PA Budget Summit, Revenue Update and Pressure on Food Programs

This week, we blogged about our 2012 Pennsylvania Budget Summit, the state's revenue performance in January, programs that serve the poor coming under increasing pressure, and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Michael Wood wrote that Pennsylvania's revenue performance in January offered some hope with General Fund collections coming in close to estimate, although corporate taxes continue to lag. Chris Lilienthal shared resources from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's 2012 Budget Summit this week and a Fox 43 news report on it.
  • In the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price blogged about news reports on soup kitchens and self sufficiency programs coming under pressure (as well as a new effort to identify the public health impacts of Marcellus Shale development); rising demand for Meals On Wheels in Reading and fines for a Hershey Co. subcontractor; and a look at policies in Europe and here at home that Paul Krugman has dubbed the "Pain Caucus."

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

Third and State This Week: Human Services Block Grant, Mortgage Help and Rising Student Loan Debt

This week, we blogged about a proposed state block grant and funding cut for county human services, the end of a mortgage assistance program in Pennsylvania, high student loan debt and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Chris Lilienthal shared a table from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center explaining the Governor's proposal to combine funding for a variety of county-level human services into a single block grant and cut it by 20%.
  • On housing, Mark Price wrote about how the state's decision to end the Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) could harm Pennsylvania's economic recovery.
  • And in the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price blogged about news stories on the student loan "debt bomb," the rise in homelessness in shale country, extended unemployment benefits and prevailing wage, and why delaying school construction is penny wise but pound foolish.

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

Third and State This Week: The Governor's Budget, Marcellus Shale and Unemployment

This week, we blogged about the Governor's new budget proposal, the passage of a Marcellus Shale package, private-sector job growth, and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • Governor Corbett released his 2012-13 state budget this week. Sharon Ward shared her op-ed on the Governor's budget proposal, and Chris Lilienthal highlighted key points from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's analysis of the budget.
  • On the Marcellus Shale, Michael Wood blogged about the Legislature's passage of a shale package, including a drilling fee that has one of the lowest rates in the nation.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price compared claims linking private-sector job growth to 2011 state tax and spending policy with a rooster taking credit for the sunrise.
  • And in the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price shared news reports on how charter schools are putting a drain on school district budgets, what to expect on Budget Day, movement on state legislation that would enable 17,000 Pennsylvania workers to qualify for federally-funded unemployment insurance, and efforts in Washington to weaken extended unemployment benefits.

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

Third and State This Week: $300 Million Lost to Driling Tax Inaction, Asset Testing and Happy 1st Birthday to Us

This week, we blogged about the $300 million in revenue lost to legislative inaction on a natural gas drilling tax, proposed asset testing for food assistance, and the top 10 blog posts of the past year in celebration of Third and State's 1st birthday. Plus: Morning Must Reads and another edition of Price of Service Cuts.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the Marcellus Shale, Chris Lilienthal wrote that legislative inaction on a natural gas drilling tax has cost Pennsylvania $300 million in lost revenue.
  • On the state budget, Michael Wood shared the latest installment in the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's Price of Service Cuts series, with a look at funding cuts to higher education and how that is helping to make college even more unaffordable for many Pennsylvanians.
  • On poverty and public welfare, Mark Price blogged about Corbett administration-proposed asset testing for food assistance with posts here and here.
  • In other Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price wrote about the payroll tax cut and cuts in block grants to local governments; local jobs data and the unemployment debate in Washington; and the value of job training.
  • Finally, Chris Lilienthal shared the top 10 most read blog posts of the past year in honor of Third and State's 1st birthday on February 1.

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

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