Morning Must Reads: Thank You for Smoking!

Right there, looking into Joey's eyes, it all came back in a rush. Why I do what I do. Defending the defenseless, protecting the disenfranchised corporations that have been abandoned by their very own consumers: the logger, the sweatshop foreman, the oil driller, the land mine developer, the baby seal poacher...

Confused About Voter ID? You’re Not Alone

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The eyes of the nation are truly turned to Pennsylvania as the ACLU is back in court today challenging Pennsylvania’s strictest-in-the-nation Voter ID Law. The Commonwealth Court is hearing evidence to determine whether the new Department of State voter ID will do the trick to ensure that anyone who needs an ID can get one, for free, in time to vote in November. If the state fails to make that case, the judge could issue an injunction to prevent the law from taking effect.

Early evidence seems to indicate that could happen. As Capitolwire.com has reported (subscription), Judge Simpson indicated Tuesday he will consider an injunction and has asked lawyers to be prepared to provide input on its scope and force. 

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center released a report on this topic exactly. The report, Moving Target: Pennsylvania’s Flawed Implementation of the Voter ID Law, asks the question: "How is PennDOT handling the new Department of State ID?" The answer, in layman’s terms, is simple: Not so good.

Morning Must Reads: Morning Call on "Bombing Public Education Into the Stone Age"

This morning, Bill White of the Allentown Morning Call renders his mid-term report card on the education policies of the current gubernatorial administration.

A Look at Poverty-Wage Jobs in Pennsylvania

In this year's State of Working Pennsylvania, we explored the prevalence of poverty-wage jobs in the commonwealth. 

We define poverty-wage jobs as those paying hourly wages that would not be sufficient for a full-time (40 hours a week), year-round (52 weeks) worker to earn an income greater than the poverty line for a family of four with two children. 

Morning Must Reads: Monetary Policy Cage Match Duncan Black vs. Charles Plosser

The Associated Press this morning attributes Tuesday's drop in The Standard & Poor's 500 index and The Dow Jones Industrial Average to comments on current monetary policy by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser. In The Philadelphia Inquirer, reporter Joseph DiStefano asks a good question:

Morning Must Reads: The Participation Trophy In Economic Development Ideas Goes To....

This morning Jane M. Von Bergen details an economic development program in Chattanooga, Tenn. that aims to offer ten $10,000 forgivable mortgages to people who know the computer programming languages Java, Perl, Python and/or Ruby. There is one catch: you have to move to Chattanooga!

Morning Must Reads: The Pennsylvania Senate Considers Payday Lending, Really?

Last week, the Pennsylvania Senate Banking and Insurance Committee held a hearing on payday lending. The testimony, time allotments and treatment of testifiers was biased in favor of the out-of-state companies seeking to permit the entry of storefront payday lenders in Pennsylvania by way of Senate passage of House Bill 2191.

Third and State This Week: PA Jobs Advantage Recedes, Supreme Court Has Voter ID Concerns, Poverty Remains High and the Manufacturing Jobs Score

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the shrinking (and now disappeared) advantage Pennsylvania had over the national unemployment rate, concerns voiced by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court over the Voter ID Law, the "manufacturing jobs score" by presidential administration, new data on poverty in Pennsylvania and much more. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and the economy, Stephen Herzenberg fact checked a recent assessment of the Corbett administration's jobs record, and Mark Price blogged about the August jobs report showing that the advantage Pennsylvania had over the national unemployment rate has disappeared.
  • On jobs and manufacturing, Stephen Herzenberg shared a commentary he co-authored with Colin Gordon of the University of Iowa on the "manufacturing jobs score" by presidential administration since 1948. 
  • On voter ID, Chris Lilienthal wrote about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision to send the legal challenge to the law back to the Commonwealth Court — and the concerns voiced by the court about the law's implementation.
  • On poverty, Chris Lilienthal highlighted media reports on new Census data on poverty in Pennsylvania and in major metro regions of the state. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center also put out an overview of the new Census data on poverty, income and health insurance.
  • On hunger, Jamar Thrasher blogged about how more colleges and universities are opening food banks for students who can't afford their next meal.
  • And in Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news reports on Hershey's plan for a $300 million manufacturing plant and on Occupy Wall Street one year later.

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

August Another Disappointing Jobs Report For Pennsylvania

As Stephen Herzenberg mentioned, the August jobs report for Pennsylvania was released Thursday, and the numbers were universally disappointing.

Nonfarm payrolls edged down by 1,200 jobs. The news wasn’t any better in the household survey with employment down by 19,000, the labor force down by 3,000 and the number of unemployed up by 16,000.

These trends drove Pennsylvania's unemployment rate up another two-tenths of a percentage point to 8.1%. Since May, the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania has climbed seven-tenths of a percentage point and is now equal to national unemployment.

Fact Checking the Corbett Jobs Record...and Some Unsolicited Advice

The Corbett administration has a new summary of Pennsylvania's recent job performance. Today's news that Pennsylvania's unemployment rate is as high as the national unemployment rate underscores, however, that the state's recent jobs record is not good. Let’s take a closer look.

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