Over the past two weeks at Third and State, we blogged about the latest on the state budget and education funding, May's revenue report, and why policymakers must prioritize investments in Pennsylvania's future over new tax cuts. We also wrote about how public pensions inject millions into local economies and why payday lending, by any name, is still a debt trap.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
- On state budget and taxes, Sharon Ward blogged about the state House Republicans' 2013-14 budget plan and shared a video of her appearance this week on the Pennsylvania Cable Network where she made the case for closing tax loopholes, delaying new tax cuts, and restoring funding to schools and human services in the next budget. Kate Atkins blogged about school district and county officials from across the state who came to Harrisburg this week with a message for state lawmakers: prioritize investments in our schools, county health services, and infrastructure over new tax cuts. And Michael Wood wrote that while General Fund revenues are ahead of estimates in May, this year’s revenue surplus is unlikely to reach the $232 million forecasted back in February.
- On public pensions, Stephen Herzenberg blogged about a Keystone Research Center report showing that pension benefits earned by retired teachers, first responders and public health workers inject millions of dollars into regional and local economies across Pennsylvania.
- On payday lending, Mark Price wrote about Senate legislation that would legalize predatory payday loans with annual interest rates above 300%. Payday loans are described in the bill as "micro loans," but as Mark writes, payday lending, by any name, takes advantage of people in financial distress.
- Finally, on education, we posted a video from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's May 28 webinar laying out the facts on state cuts to education in recent years.
IN OTHER NEWS:
- Read the Keystone Research Center's new policy brief on how public pensions inject millions of dollars into regional and local economies across Pennsylvania. You can also view county-level maps, read a press release on the new policy brief and listen to a media conference call. Learn more about public pension reform here.
- Read a press release, view photos on Facebook, and watch a video of the event this week that brought local elected officials from across the state to Harrisburg to urge lawmakers to prioritize kids and communities over new tax cuts.
- Read the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's full revenue analysis for May and get the latest budget news here.
- Learn more about the federal opportunity to expand Medicaid coverage in Pennsylvania.
- Learn more about education in Pennsylvania with data on student enrollment, school funding and more.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR:
- Time is running out. Join the Keystone Research Center and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on Thursday, June 13 for our Annual Awards Dinner at the Hilton Harrisburg. Learn more and purchase tickets.
- Join the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on Tuesday, June 18 from 4 to 5 p.m. for a webinar highlighting the latest on the 2013-14 state budget. Learn more and register to participate.