Is yet another vehicle to expand payday lending in the hopper in Harrisburg?

First there was HB2191 in 2012, followed by SB975 in 2013 and now Senator Jake Corman is soliciting his colleagues for co-sponsorship of a bill that would create a “90 Day Consumer Loan Program”.  With short term lending products the devil is always in the details and we don’t yet have the language of the bill.  

Minimum wage increases didn’t hurt job growth in other states; it’s time for PA to join the club

Last week, Michigan passed a bill to increase its minimum wage from $7.40 an hour to $9.25 an hour over the next four years. Michigan is the seventh state, in addition to D.C., to legislate a minimum wage increase thus far in 2014. Additionally, as of yesterday, 22 states across the country, including all six of Pennsylvania’s neighboring states, have a wage floor higher than the national level of $7.25 per hour. Support for raising the minimum wage is building among Pennsylvanias so that our workers are not left even further behind.

An update on the campaign to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania

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Here is a quick audio update (mp3) on the campaign to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania.

Those of you that prefer not to hear my voice can read the update here.

Policy Matters: Piketty and "Two Critical Realignments" in One Graph

Our friend Colin Gordon of the Iowa Policy Project runs a website called The Telltale Chart. As the name implies, he loves charts.

Colin's outdone himself today on the blog of the Center for Economic Policy and Research (CEPR) with what he calls "Piketty in one graph."

The sincerest, sincerest form of flattery

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - then plagiarism must take flattery to a whole new level of sincerity. So the Center for Budget and Policies Priorities (CBPP) in Washington, DC must really be feeling the sincere love from Maine Governor Paul LaPage. According to news reports, the governor awarded the Alexander Group a $925,000 no-bid contract to do a report on the performance of Maine’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. When the report was turned in, however, it contained sections, some as long as two full pages, which were lifted directly from the work of CBPP.

Putting the April Jobs Report in Context

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that nonfarm payrolls grew by 10,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 5.7% in April.

Resident Unemployment

Over the month, the labor force was essentially unchanged as the number of residents reporting employment rose by 0.4% and the number reporting they were unemployed fell by 5.6%.

$1.3 billion less for 2014-15 budget according to IFO

On May 1, the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released updated revenue estimates for the remainder of 2013-14 and its initial estimate for 2014-15. With General Fund revenues already a half a billion dollars short through April, it was expected by many budget watchers that revenue projections would be scaled back. The IFO forecasts a decrease of revenue of $568 million from official estimate for 2013-14 and for 2014-15, predicts a further decline of $768 million from the Governor’s Office estimates from February. This jeopardizes the increases proposed by the Governor for 2014-15, and could lead to budget cuts from 2013-14.

Senate Bill 76: a School Defunding Formula Bill?

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The Senate Finance Committee did not take up Senate Bill 76 this week, a positive sign. The committee held a hearing on April 30 to consider an amendment that was supposed to fix the problems with the legislation, but the amendment had the opposite effect, raising even more questions about the impact of the bill on schools, communities, and businesses.

Pocket money for a business lobbyist is real money for working families

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On Wednesday ABC27 did a story on proposals to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania which attributed the following to an anonymous Pennsylvania business lobbyist:

Pennsylvania business leaders and lobbyists argue the minimum wage increase would benefit only workers in entry-level positions or those earning pocket money.

On Thursday join an event near you to advocate for a higher minimum wage in Pennsylvania.

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Today we released a new report "Living on the Edge: Where Very Low Wage Workers Live in Pennsylvania". This comes in advance of Thursday's statewide day of action organized by a diverse coalition of faith, labor and community groups urging lawmakers to take action to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania (see http://raisethewagepa.org/ for more information on local events).

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