Pittsburgh: One of America's New Laboratories of Democracy

My colleague Diana Polson brought my attention to Harold Meyerson's new story in The American Prospect highlighting Pittsburgh as a city with exciting young progressive political leadership and labor-community alliances (e.g., Pittsburgh United). Pittsburgh deserves the credit as do councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, Mayor Peduto, and SEIU 32BJ, which received shout outs in the story.

You Can't Pay the Hospital with Your Varsity Letter: The Union Vote at Northwestern University

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The controversy surrounding the effort of Northwestern University football players to form a union makes me think back to when workers at Harvard first tried to form a union in the 1970s.

Education Is the New Black

A new poll out confirms the public’s support for more education funding and a new education funding formula.

Morning Must Reads: A Natural Gas Severance Tax This Year?

Momentum is building to enact a natural gas severance tax in Pennsylvania. But don't take it from us.

The Triadvocate has an analysis of the debate that concludes an extraction tax is "almost a fait accompli."

A Guide to the Creative Use of Numbers by the Business Lobby

The debate over raising the minimum wage can quickly become a fog of studies and numbers. So in the spirit of keeping people honest, we review some of the arguments against raising the wage made in a Philadelphia Inquirer article by Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry chief Gene Barr.

A Look at Shale Drilling’s Mixed Legacy

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Multi-State Shale Research CollaborativeNatural gas drilling has transformed two Pennsylvania counties with the greatest development activities, for better and for worse.

That statement in itself is not surprising, but two new studies from the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative have a wealth of data on just how much these communities have been transformed. And some of the findings may surprise you.

Houston, We Have a (Revenue) Problem

Pennsylvania General Fund revenue collections fell short of estimate, for practical purposes, by more than $100 million in what is usually the largest month of collections for the year. March receipts typically get a boost from a swell in corporate tax payments, but lower-than-expected bank tax collections this March brought corporate tax revenues in well below estimate. Sales tax collections also missed the mark for the fifth straight month.

Morning Must Reads: Don't Settle for 'Chump Change' with Gas Extraction Tax

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Two Pennsylvania newspaper editorials are making the case this week for enacting a severance tax on natural gas drilling, like most large energy-producing states have.

Morning Must Read: PA Senator Proposing 5% Natural Gas Severance Tax

State Senator Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia will unveil a plan today to assess a 5% severance tax on natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. He told the Philadelphia Daily News that his plan will generate more than $1 billion for education by 2020:

NFIB's Flawed Minimum Wage Study Doesn't Tell Us Much

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How do you know that momentum is building in the campaign to raise the minimum wage? Opponents arrive with inflated claims of job losses if we raise the wage.

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