Morning Must Read: House GOP Budget to Trim $100 Million from Governor's February Proposal

House Republican leaders will hold a press conference at 11:30 a.m. this morning to unveil their plan for the 2013-14 state budget. The Allentown Morning Call is reporting this morning that the bill will be $100 million less than the $28.4 billion budget proposed by Governor Tom Corbett in February:

Third and State This Week: Costly Pensions Plan, a Tax Cut that Should Be Delayed, Pittsburgh’s Economy & More

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the problems with the Governor’s pension plan, how critical the expansion of Medicaid health coverage is for low-income working families in Pennsylvania, why the state should delay a planned corporate tax cut, and a new report on how Pittsburgh’s economy is doing better than other neighboring rust-belt cities.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On pensions, Stephen Herzenberg shared his Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed explaining that the Governor’s pension proposal will increase the state's pension debt and cost taxpayers more.
  • On health care, Jamar Thrasher blogged that if Pennsylvania rejects federal dollars to expand Medicaid, many of the state’s low-income working families will have nowhere to turn for health coverage.
  • With state budget action likely to pick up after Memorial Day, Chris Lilienthal blogged that policymakers should delay the planned phaseout of a corporate tax in order to preserve critical investments that make Pennsylvania a good place to live and do business.
  • On the economy, Jamar Thrasher wrote about a new study finding Pittsburgh's economy has fared better than neighboring rust-belt cities Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit.

IN OTHER NEWS:

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:

  • Join the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on Tuesday, May 28 from 4 to 5 p.m. for a webinar on education funding in Pennsylvania. Learn more and register to participate.
  • Join the Keystone Research Center and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on Thursday, June 13 for our Annual Awards Dinner at the Hilton Harrisburg. Learn more and purchase tickets.

Pittsburgh Fares Better Than Other Rust-Belt Cities Thanks to Education

From 1970 through 2006, rust-belt cities Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh have all seen a considerable decline in neighborhood population, but Pittsburgh has fared better than the rest.

The Quiet Before the Storm

The State Capitol is quiet this week, but things will pick up quickly after the Memorial Day Weekend. Pennsylvania House leaders expect to introduce a 2013-14 budget bill on Tuesday, with a vote to follow the week of June 10.

Morning Must Read: A No to Expanding Medicaid Will Leave Many in PA Out in the Cold

Pennsylvania is not the only state undecided about whether to expand Medicaid health coverage to low-income working families. As The Washington Post reports

Twenty states and the District of Columbia have signed on to the expansion, and 14 are planning to decline. But 16 [including Pennsylvania] remain in limbo as lawmakers clash in the final days and weeks of the legislative calendar, when many must come to a decision in time for the provision to kick in next year.

We have blogged (here and here) in recent weeks about reports showing how an expansion of Medicaid will benefit Pennsylvania residents both from an economic and public health standpoint.

One aspect of the debate that has not gotten as much attention is that an expanded Medicaid is the only option for many low-income working Pennsylvanians.

Not What the Doctor Ordered on Pensions

I wanted to share my op-ed in today's Philadelphia Inquirer examining the added costs and other problems in Governor Corbett's public pension proposal:

In public policy, as in medicine, a guiding principle should be "first, do no harm." In other words, don't make the problem worse.

Unfortunately, Gov. Corbett's plan to radically restructure Pennsylvania's public pension system does serious harm to taxpayers, driving up the public cost of retirement benefits for years to come. It harms Pennsylvania's teachers, nurses, emergency responders, and other public servants by undermining their retirement benefits without saving a dime. And it harms efforts by Pennsylvania schools and other public employers to attract and retain high-quality employees.

Third and State This Week: PA Jobs Update, House Budget Bill Coming, Expanding Medicaid and More

This week at Third and State, we updated you on the latest Pennsylvania jobs numbers, asked whether a House budget bill to be introduced on May 28 will include new cuts, explained how a loophole bill does not get the job done, highlighted an editorial raising concerns about the Governor's pension proposal, and shared resources from a webinar on expanding Medicaid coverage in Pennsylvania.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price has an update on the Pennsylvania jobs report released Friday.
  • On state budget and taxes, Chris Lilienthal blogged that as Pennsylvania House leaders plan to introduce a 2013-14 budget bill, some in Harrisburg are looking at a delay in the phaseout of the capital stock and franchise tax to help close a budget gap. Michael Wood blogged that a recently-passed House bill to close corporate tax loopholes would fall far short of its goal and aggravate the state’s financial problems.
  • On the Marcellus Shale, Chris Lilienthal blogged about an Associated Press story highlighting just how much Pennsylvania is giving up over time by enacting a very low Marcellus Shale impact fee.
  • On public pensions, Jamar Thrasher blogged about a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial raising concerns about Governor Corbett's pension plan.
  • Finally, we shared a video of a webinar hosted by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on making the Medicaid expansion a reality in Pennsylvania.

IN OTHER NEWS:

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:

  • Join the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on Tuesday, May 28 from 4 to 5 p.m. for a webinar on education funding in Pennsylvania. Learn more and register to participate.
  • Join the Keystone Research Center and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on Thursday, June 13 for our Annual Awards Dinner at the Hilton Harrisburg. Learn more and purchase tickets.

Good News on PA Jobs But Challenges Remain

Pennsylvania got some good news Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the state’s unemployment rate fell three-tenths of one percentage point to 7.6% in April. It is the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania since March of last year — although it is still slightly higher than the U.S. unemployment rate.

Unemployment in PA and US

Will There Be New Cuts in PA House Budget Bill?

Pennsylvania House leaders plan to introduce a 2013-14 budget bill on May 28, with a vote to follow the week of June 10.

Must Read: Inquirer Takes on Governor's Pension Plan

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The Philadelphia Inquirer has an editorial today raising many of the same concerns about Governor Tom Corbett's pension proposal as we have at the Keystone Research Center.

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