There's a New Sheriff in Town

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Pennsylvania's new Attorney General Kathleen Kane yesterday found that Governor Corbett's contract privatizing the state's lottery is illegal.

While this was a legal decision, it was also good news for Pennsylvanians concerned about the implications of privatizing the lottery, including the loss of revenues the lottery provides to programs for seniors.

Imagine...A Minimum Wage Your Daughter Could Live On

The Australian minimum wage this year is $15.96 per hour. I know this mostly because my daughter lives in Melbourne these days (not forever, I hope). When she arrived there 18 months ago, she got a job at a minimum-wage restaurant. She earned enough to cover her rent and other expenses.

With the President Promising to Reduce Inequality, the Devil Will Be in the Details

We were hoping to hear President Obama in his State of the Union address underline his commitment to taking on our greatest short- and long-term challenges: persistent high unemployment and rapidly growing inequality.

Lagging Sales Tax, Corporate Tax Cuts Cause for Concern in January

Pennsylvania General Fund revenue collections fell slightly short of estimate in January, with sales tax coming in substantially off the mark. Revenues remain above projections for the 2012-13 fiscal year — now exceeding targets by $153 million, or 1.1%.

Third and State This Week: The Governor's Budget Proposal and More

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the Governor's proposed 2013-14 budget, which does little to undo the damage done by the deep cuts to education and health care enacted during his first two years in office. Plus a look at lost Postal Service jobs in Pennsylvania, as news comes that Saturday mail delivery will be ending.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward shared the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's statement on the Governor's proposed budget, her pre-budget op-ed in The Philadelphia Inquirer outlining what the budget should look like, and her post-budget op-ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette analyzing the Governor's proposal.
  • On education, Kate Atkins posted infographics showing the proposed budget does little to reverse cuts to public schools and higher education.
  • And on jobs and the economy, Mark Price blogged about a 21% decline in Postal Service employment in Pennsylvania since 2007, as news comes that Saturday mail delivery is coming to an end.
IN OTHER NEWS:
  • Read the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's detailed analysis of the Governor's 2013-14 budget proposal.

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

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.

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