Democracy

The Manufacturing Jobs Score Since 1948

After former President Bill Clinton claimed the "jobs score" was better in Democratic presidential administrations than in Republican ones, Colin Gordon of the University of Iowa and I did some research to see how presidential administrations scored on manufacturing job creation since Harry Truman.

Morning Must Reads: PA Supreme Court Raises Concerns About State's Implementation of Voter ID Law

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday sent the high-profile legal challenge to the state's Voter ID Law back to Commonwealth Court and instructed that court to again consider whether the law will disenfranchise voters. In the process, the justices voiced some concern about how the state is implementing the law.

The Supreme Court ruling specifically instructed the Commonwealth Court to review whether the procedures for issuing the new Department of State IDs "comport with the requirement of liberal access which the General Assembly attached to the issuance of PennDOT identification cards." If the Commonwealth Court finds that the procedures do not, or is otherwise unconvinced that no voters will be disenfranchised because of the law's requirements, then the court "is obliged to enter a preliminary injunction," preventing the law from going into effect with the fall election. The Commonwealth Court has until Oct. 2 to issue its ruling.

Third and State This Week: Voter ID Before Supreme Court, Fewer Uninsured Americans & State Revenue Update

This week at Third and State, we blogged about Voter ID arguments before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, new Census data showing a decrease in the number of uninsured Americans, state revenue collections through August, and much more.

 IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the Voter ID Law, Jamar Thrasher wrote about arguments before the state Supreme Court in a legal challenge to the law during which a few justices raised concerns about the number of voters impacted and asked why the commonwealth was rushing to implement the law for the fall election.
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal blogged about Census Bureau data released this week showing that more Americans were insured in 2011 than the year before, thanks largely to provisions of the Affordable Care Act. 
  • On income inequality and poverty, Mark Price wrote about the bad news in the Census data — incomes are down and poverty is up in Pennsylvania compared to before the recession. Chris had also blogged about what to expect in the Census data on poverty, income and health insurance.
  • On state budget and taxes, Michael Wood blogged about state revenue collections through August but noted that September will tell a fuller story about the state's revenue picture.
  • Finally, Mark Price had a Morning Must Read highlighting news stories on the Chicago teachers strike and an analysis of the job growth performance of past presidential administrations.

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

PA Supreme Court Takes Up Voter ID Challenge

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As the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments today in a case challenging the state's strict Voter ID Law, it was Justice Seamus McCaffery who observed that his identification as a justice of the Supreme Court would not be acceptable ID for him to vote under this law.

Third and State This Week: State of Working PA, New Online Sales Tax Rules & Honoring Work on Labor Day

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the State of Working Pennsylvania, new rules that will close an online sales tax loophole (at least a little bit), new budget guidelines for 2013-14, honoring work on Labor Day, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price wrote about layoffs in the Pittsburgh School District and the Keystone Research Center's State of Working Pennsylvania report that came out this week. The Keystone report concludes that Pennsylvania and the nation need a new policy direction to lift up working and middle-income families.
  • On state tax policy, Michael Wood blogged about a rule change that will level the playing field somewhat between online retailers and bricks-and-mortar stores by requiring retailers like Amazon, with a physical presence in Pennsylvania, to collect sales tax on online purchases.
  • On state policy, Jamar Thrasher highlighted news reports on new 2013-14 budget guidelines from the Corbett administration and a new type of voter ID introduced this week.
  • And in honor of Labor Day, Mark Price highlighted a few commentaries honoring work and calling for a middle class-friendly economic policy.

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

Morning Must Reads: New Budget Guidelines Envision Even More Cuts Next Year and a New Voter ID Debuts

Less than two months into the new fiscal year, the Corbett administration is out with internal budgetary guidelines for the 2013-14 fiscal year — and, you guessed it, more cuts are on the menu.

The administration cites declining federal funds and increased mandatory state expenses, including higher costs for health care and prisons. The new guidelines specifically tell state departments and agencies that if they lose federal funding, they should not request additional state funding to offset the loss.

Sharon Ward of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center asks in a story by the PA Independent whether that blanket approach is wise.

Third and State This Week: PA Falling Short on Voter ID & $500 Million Lost to Natural Gas Tax Giveaway

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a report on problems with the state's implementation of the Voter ID Law, revenue lost to the state by not having a Marcellus Shale drilling tax, private schools choosing "Opportunity Scholarship" students and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the Voter ID Law, Sharon Ward wrote about a recent Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center report finding that the commonwealth is not ready to issue a photo ID to everyone who needs one for the November election.
  • On the Marcellus Shale, Michael Wood blogged that while natural gas drillers extracted over $8 billion worth of natural gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale between July 2009 and June 2012, the commonwealth lost out on hundreds of millions in revenue by not having a drilling tax in place.
  • On education, Jamar Thrasher wrote about a Reading Eagle article explaining that private schools will be able to pick and choose students who are eligible for Opportunity Scholarships.
  • And Chris Lilienthal had a Must Read this week about the restoration of mortgage assistance for struggling homeowners and the appointment of a school vouchers advocate to lead the financial recovery process at the Chester Upland School District.

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

Chaos at the PennDOT

Now that Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson has given the green light to Pennsylvania’s strictest in-the-nation Voter ID Law, tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians will have to make their way to their local PennDOT office to get a photo ID. We can tell you, it won’t be easy.

Third and State Recap: Weak Jobs Report for July, Water Polo and the Economy, and the Ryan Budget in PA

Over the past two weeks, we have been busy blogging about July reports on jobs and state revenues, how much the Ryan budget would cost Pennsylvania, what water polo swimsuit malfunctions have to do with the economy, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price analyzed Pennsylvania's jobs report for July, and the news was not good.
  • On the state budget, Michael Wood wrote that July tax collections were solid, starting the commonwealth out on the right foot in the new fiscal year.
  • On the federal budget, Jamar Thrasher blogged about a new Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report estimating that Pennsylvania would lose more than $1 billion in federal funding for education, law enforcement, clean water, and other projects under the federal budget proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan.
  • On the economy and regulations, Steve Herzenberg noted that the need for rules to discourage water polo players from ripping off each other’s swimsuits underscores the need for regulations to promote more constructive competition in our economy. (You can also listen here to Steve discuss this theme while guest hosting The Rick Smith Show August 8.)
  • On education, Jamar Thrasher blogged about a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article detailing how charter schools play by a different set of rules than public schools.
  • In Morning Must Reads over the past two weeks, Mark Price highlighted news reports on the Corbett administration's decision to end programs that help low-income households file their taxes; people impacted by the elimination of General Assistance in Pennsylvania; the need for paid sick leave for more than 40 million American workers; and even more resources on the Ryan budget plan.
  • And in a Friday Funny today, Chris Lilienthal shared a Monty Python clip about some rather enthusiastic Mosquito Hunters that had some of us thinking about the state's new Voter ID Law.

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

Friday Funny: Voter ID and Mosquito Hunting

This comes to us via Twitter from Dr. Chris Hughes, a critical care and hospice physician in Pittsburgh and the state director of Doctors for America. He likens the state's new Voter ID Law to Monty Python's rather enthusiastic mosquito hunters. Watch the clip and tell us what you think.

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