Immigration Fact Check: Undocumented Immigrants Already Paying Billions in State/Local Taxes

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Immigration has been a hot-button topic on the campaign trail this year, and it will continue to be as the Supreme Court hears arguments in the coming months regarding President Obama’s recent immigration executive action.

In Memory of Ruth Mathews

Scrolling through my email yesterday morning I came across the sad news that Ruth Mathews (later McGrath) had passed away. Reading her obituary brought tears to my eyes -- good, rich tears.

Senator Corman's Budget Fantasy

The Independent Fiscal Office’s projection that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania faces a $1.8 billion structural deficit for the fiscal year beginning July 1 is now beyond dispute. And we at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) believe that there are only two ways forward. One path leads to a relatively small tax increase that closes the deficit and restore funding for education and human services. The other path leads to devastating cuts in education and human services. 

Pennsylvania at the Crossroads

Pennsylvania is at a crossroads. We face a stark and profound choice between two different paths. The first path would build on the broad consensus about public policy that animated our politics for generations. That consensus, forged by both Democrats and Republicans, recognizes that without good public education, our kids won’t succeed and our economy will stall.  It accepts responsibility for taking care of the disabled, ill and aged who, through no fault of their own, need our help.

More on Counting Shale Jobs and Deciphering Who Cooks the Books

As the saying goes, “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.”

KRC/PBPC Insider News Special Blizzard Edition 1-23-16

Special blizzard edition ... yeah we’re snowed in, but we know you’re just watching your email for our weekly news so here it is, delivered despite the weather.

Senator from York Predicts a Recession

If you were getting bored by the never ending budget process, a flurry of colorful metaphors by “Fightin” Sen. Scott Wagner of York County added a more circus like element to the standoff. I just wanted to highlight an interesting argument in the Senator’s letter to Capitolwire about the current state of the economy. According to the Senator:

KRC/PBPC Insider News for the Week Ending January 8, 2016

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Goodbye and good riddance 2015… A bruising and historic budget fight ended in an unsatisfactory stalemate with the governor’s signing and blue-lining of an inadequate budget passed by the General Assembly after the House and Senate walked away from a negotiated compromise. Education funding remains far from resolved, but school districts did receive enough funding to keep the doors open in the new year.

Gas Drillers New Year's Eve

On New Year’s Eve, Miss Smith walked out through the automatic sliding doors of the grocery store where she worked as a cashier and pulled her scarf to her nose as the December wind hit her face. Glad to be done with the last shift of 2015, she walked briskly toward her parents’ house where she had lived for the last three years.

Before she lost her job as an art teacher for the local school, she had her own apartment. But her salary at the grocery store was not enough to allow her to afford her own place after she made her student loan and car payments.

A New Year's Resolution for PA Lawmakers - Pass a Fiscally Responsible State Budget

It turns out we're not the only ones waiting for a responsible Pennsylvania state budget that actually raises the revenue the state needs to pay its debts -- and also to adequately fund education, infrastructure and human services. 

The rating agency, Standard and Poor's (S&P), is also waiting for a fiscally responsible budget.

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