Poverty

Morning Must Reads: Got No Evidence? No Problem Just Make It Up!

I hope you had a relaxing weekend.

The Philadelphia Daily News does an excellent job this morning laying out the facts about the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps.

Third and State Recap: PA Budget, Human Cost of Ending General Assistance & Wall Street Execs on Honesty

Happy Friday the 13th! Over the past two weeks, we been busy blogging about the enacted state budget, the revenue outlook at the start of the new fiscal year, the human cost of eliminating General Assistance, recent news on the Marcellus Shale front and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, intern Alan Bowie had this post and intern Jamar Thrasher had this post summing up the post-budget headlines. Michael Wood had an analysis of better-than-expected revenue collections in June, allowing the state to start the new fiscal year with a $400 million fund balance. And Mark Price blogged about the problems with budget austerity.
  • On jobs, Mark Price blogged about a New York Times editorial and research by the Economic Policy Institute on just how much state and local budget cuts have hurt job growth nationally.
  • On poverty and public welfare, Kate Atkins wrote about the human cost of eliminating General Assistance, which will come to an end on August 1 under the new budget.
  • On the financial sector, Mark Price blogged about a recent poll finding one in four Wall Street executives view wrongdoing as a key to success.
  • On the economy, Alan Bowie wrote about an effort to increase the federal minimum wage and the long-term impact of the housing crisis on African Americans.
  • And, on the Marcellus Shale, Jamar Thrasher blogged about legislation that enacted a moratorium on gas drilling in Bucks County and a new report showing how major oil companies use tax loopholes to avoid paying federal taxes. 

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

Morning Must Reads: Elected Officials Are Supposed To Do No Harm

The New York Times has a good editorial this morning based on analysis by Josh Bivens and Heidi Shierholz at the Economic Policy Institute on just how much state and local budget cuts have hurt job growth. Bottom line, the editorial says, Congress could lower the unemployment rate substantially by providing more federal aid to states.

Midday Must Reads: Increasing the Minimum Wage and the Long-term Impact of Foreclosures

The Great Recession and its aftermath have spurred increasing income and wealth inequality.

The Washington Post takes a look into the effects of the recession and housing crisis on African Americans. The article takes a look at the subprime loans African Americans were given and the long-lasting effects these loans may have on credit and wealth for African American communities.

The Human Cost of Eliminating General Assistance

Since the Great Depression, Pennsylvania has had a General Assistance (GA) program — a small cash benefit that serves as a bridge to self-sufficiency for the temporarily disabled and for victims of domestic violence and addicts seeking help to turn their lives around.

Since the Great Depression. Until this past weekend.

This year’s budget ended Pennsylvania’s modest benefit for 68,000 people, effective August 1. At $205 per month, nobody was getting rich from the program. Here is a sample of who is using General Assistance and why:

Third and State This Week: PA Budget, Human Services Block Grant and the Affordable Care Act Is Here to Stay

This week at Third and State, we blogged about details of the 2012-13 state budget, resistance to creating a human services block grant, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward highlighted details of the 2012-13 budget, which sets spending below the budgeted 2008-09 levels, despite four years of recession-driven increases in demand for services. Chris Lilienthal had an initial overview of the budget earlier in the week. Chris also had a blog post about a provision in the draft Fiscal Code bill that would require nonprofit service providers to report on executive salaries and other administrative expenses. And he had a short post linking to an overview of education policy changes that are moving along with the budget.
  • On human services, Chris Lilienthal blogged about Representative Gene DiGirolamo's plan to establish a pilot program for the human services block grant. Sharon Ward followed up with a post looking at efforts by the Corbett administration to turn the pilot program into a Human Services Block Grant Lite.
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal wrote about the Supreme Court's decision upholding the Affordable Care Act and how important it is for state officials to move forward with implementing it in a consumer friendly way. Intern Alan Bowie had a Morning Must Reads post highlighting news coverage of the decision.
  • In other Morning Must Reads, Alan Bowie blogged about news reports on local unemployment rates and on budget cuts hitting General Assistance, county human services and early childhood education. Intern Jamar Thrasher had a Morning Must Read on hope that kindergarten may be saved from budget cuts in Harrisburg.

Note: We will have more blog posts next week, but we will not have a weekly roundup on Friday, July 6 because of the Fourth of July holiday. We will resume the weekly roundup blog post on Friday, July 13. In the meantime, keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

An Added Layer of Bureaucracy

As nonprofit providers of human services work to do more with less after years of state cutbacks, lawmakers are planning to give them one more thing to do.

A Closer Look at the State Budget

Details of the 2012-13 state budget agreement have emerged with the release of spreadsheets Tuesday, and some details of the code language that will accompany the budget.

Third and State This Week: State Budget Framework, Public-Sector Job Losses and Liquor Privatization Stalls

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the $27.65 billion budget framework announced by the governor and legislative leaders, the stalled debate over liquor privatization in Pennsylvania, how public-sector job losses have hurt the broader economy, teacher layoffs in Reading, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Chris Lilienthal highlighted news reports on the $27.65 billion budget framework announced by Governor Tom Corbett and legislative leaders and followed up with a roundup of news reports as budget details began to emerge.
  • Intern Alan Bowie stepped up this week to write Morning Must Reads:
    • On Monday, he highlighted news stories on teacher layoffs in Reading and reining in the sales tax vendor discount.
    • On Tuesday, he summed up a news report on Washington State's experience with liquor privatization and new estimates putting Pennsylvania's June revenue surplus at $100 million.
    • And on Wednesday, he had a roundup that included a look at how public-sector layoffs are hurting the broader economy and news that debate on a liquor privatization bill stalled in the House and will be pushed to the fall.

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!

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