Governor's Budget Falls Short on Education, Health Care

I have an op-ed in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette making the point that Governor Corbett's proposed 2013-14 budget falls short on a number of levels and that Pennsylvania needs a budget that returns to tried-and-true investments in education and public infrastructure, the kind that can build a foundation for Pennsylvania's long-term economic competitiveness.

The U.S. Postal Service in Pennsylvania Has Shed 7,500 Jobs Since 2007. Thanks, Congress?

On Wednesday, the U.S. Postal Service announced that it will discontinue Saturday mail delivery. Since 2007, Postal Service employment in Pennsylvania has fallen by more than 7,500 jobs, a decline of 21%.

It is unclear what further impact on employment in Pennsylvania the end of Saturday service will have.

Governor's Budget Does Little to Undo Damage of Last Two Years

In case you missed the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's media statement on Governor Corbett's 2013-14 budget proposal this week, I pass it on to you below. It provides a nice overview of the various components of the Governor's budget. If you want more specifics, read our detailed 13-page budget analysis here.

Governor's Budget Makes Modest Increases But Relies on Uncertain Funding

From the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's analysis of Governor Tom Corbett's 2013-14 budget plan:

Governor Tom Corbett proposed a 2013-14 budget of $28.4 billion — up $400 million, or 1%, from the budget in place when he took office in 2011. The budget proposes expensive new corporate tax breaks that will continue to shift costs to individuals and local taxpayers, while failing to restore deep cuts to public schools, keep college affordable for middle-class students, or ensure working families can obtain basic health care.

Proposed Budget Does Little to Reverse Education Cuts

Total Pre-K-12 education funding in Pennsylvania will reach $10 billion under the Governor's proposed 2013-14 budget. Classroom funding inched up slightly from 2012-13 but remains well below 2010-11 funding levels.

Higher education funding is flat funded, locking in cuts made to public colleges and universities in 2011.

Click on the charts below to download PDF versions.

A New Direction for Pennsylvania's Budget

I have an op-ed in today's Philadelphia Inquirer outlining what steps Governor Tom Corbett should take in his budget address today. Check it out.

Helping You Make Sense of the Governor's Budget

Governor Tom Corbett will release his 2013-14 spending plan today, and the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is here to help you make sense of it. We will be providing our usual critical analysis to shed some light on the immediate and long-term implications of the Governor’s budget priorities.

Third and State This Week: PA Among Top 10 Most Regressive Tax States, Liquor Privatization and Latest Jobs Report

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a new study finding Pennsylvania is among the "Terrible 10" most regressive tax states in the nation, the lost revenues and increased social costs that would come with privatization of the state liquor stores, what the latest national jobs report means, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On state and local taxes, Chris Lilienthal blogged about a new study from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy finding that middle- and low-income working families in Pennsylvania pay a far higher share of their income in taxes than the wealthiest earners. Chris had a follow up post that looked at how Pennsylvania taxes compared to neighboring New Jersey and West Virginia. We also blogged about what a progressive tax system should look like.
  • On privatization, Stephen Herzenberg responded to Governor Tom Corbett's plan to privatize liquor stores by highlighting the likely impacts: an increase in excessive alcohol consumption and its related negative impacts as well as the loss of some of the nearly half a billion dollars in revenues generated by the state system.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price wrote that in light of January's national jobs report, the recovery remains on track, but the pace of job growth is perilously slow.
  • And on education and the state budget, Chris Lilienthal shared a news report on Budget Secretary Charles Zogby's address to the Pennsylvania Press Club, and the "false choice" he presented between education funding in the next budget and changes to state pensions.

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

January Jobs Report: Good But Not Good Enough

This morning the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate edged up slightly to 7.9% in January as nonfarm payrolls increased by 157,000 jobs. January's jobs figure was somewhat below the average gain in the previous three months (201,000).

On the whole, the recovery remains on track, but the pace of job growth remains perilously slow.

How Do PA Taxes Compare to New Jersey and West Virginia?

On Wednesday, I blogged about a new report out from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy showing Pennsylvania is among the "Terrible 10" most regressive tax states in the nation. This means state and local taxes fall disproportionately on middle-class, working and poor families to the advantage of the richest taxpayers.

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