Charter Bill Stalls in House as Lawmakers from Both Parties Raise Questions

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After passing out of the state Senate Tuesday, a much debated charter school bill stalled in the House of Representatives this week due to an apparent lack of support from House Republicans, as the Harrisburg Patriot-News reports. With the Legislature now recessed for the upcoming elections and leaders of both chambers vowing not to schedule any legislative votes in the lame duck session, the bill is not likely to come before lawmakers again until the new legislative session next year.

Morning Must Reads: A Rare Victory In The Endless Fight Against Corporate Welfare

In a rare victory against corporate welfare, Ahold USA has withdrawn its request for property tax breaks for a meat-packaging facility it is building in Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County.

Morning Must Reads: Inequality Bad

The biggest challenge facing the next President of the United States is runaway inequality.

The State of Working America lays out the trends:

Between 1983 and 2010, nearly three-fourths (74.2 percent) of the total growth in household wealth accrued to the top 5 percent of households in the wealth distribution. For the bottom 60 percent of households, wealth declined from 1983 to 2010.

Corporate Tax Break for Food Company Unnecessary

The effort by Netherlands-based food company Ahold to secure a multi-year property tax break on a plant being built in Cumberland County presents a troubling picture of an economic development system that is costly, lacks real accountability and leaves the taxpayers paying more. Check out my op-ed on the subject in today's Harrisburg Patriot-News.

The State-Level Manufacturing Jobs Score Since 1948

Last month, Colin Gordon of the Iowa Policy Project and I published a national analysis of job growth and loss in U.S. manufacturing by presidential term since 1948. Shortly thereafter, we came across state-level data that allowed us to replicate our "manufacturing jobs score" analysis in each of the 50 states.

We summarized our findings in a new policy brief this week, with a focus on regions and some individual states, including Pennsylvania.

Each of four multi-state regions and 43 of the 50 states experienced more job loss (or smaller job gains) in the nine Republican administrations combined than across the seven Democratic administrations combined.

Morning Must Reads: Got Manufacturing Skill Shortage?

The for-profit economic consultants Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has released a new study that combines analysis of wage trends by metropolitan area with surveys of the CEOs of manufacturing companies on the topic of manufacturing skill shortages.

Morning Must Reads: The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent

Over the weekend, Chrystia Freeland told a story about the city of Venice to warn of the pitfalls for all of society when extreme inequality undermines social mobility.

Third and State This Week: Paying the Boss to Work, a Payday Lending Poll, and Austin Powers on Tax Incentives

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the problems with a "pay your boss to work" tax credit plan, what the Austin Powers movies can teach us about economic development, the gas industry taking on Pennsylvania charities, an online payday lending poll, and more!


  • On state tax policy, Michael Wood noted the top 10 reasons to vote no on a bill that would allow many Pennsylvania employers to pocket the state income taxes paid by new employees.
  • On taxes and economic development, Mark Price channeled his vast knowledge of Austin Powers' quotes to comment on an effort by a food corporation to secure a property tax abatement for a meat repackaging plant in Lower Allen Township.
  • On Marcellus Shale, Stephen Herzenberg wrote about the need for reliable data on natural gas drilling after the Marcellus Shale Coalition criticized the funding priorities of certain Pennsylvania foundations.
  • On payday lending, Chris Lilienthal urged readers to vote in an online poll asking Pennsylvanians if payday lenders should be able to open storefronts in the state.
  • And on jobs and the economy, Mark Price chronicled the many informative responses debunking former GE CEO Jack Welch's suggestion on Twitter that the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics altered September's jobs report.

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

Add Your Voice to Those Opposing Payday Lending in PA

A bill to legalize high-interest payday loans in Pennsylvania stalled this week after a bipartisan group of state senators took a look at the plan and said no way. The Harrisburg Patriot-News was on top of the story:

Paying the Boss to Work

The Pennsylvania General Assembly is considering legislation that would allow many Pennsylvania employers to pocket the state income taxes paid by new employees. The plan, House Bill 2626, could come up for a vote in the House Monday.

While billed as an economic development strategy, the bill provides a multi-year subsidy for existing companies to do what they do anyway: fill vacant positions. It is costly and will lead to more cuts to schools and services for children, seniors and people with disabilities.

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