Chaos at the PennDOT

Now that Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson has given the green light to Pennsylvania’s strictest in-the-nation Voter ID Law, tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians will have to make their way to their local PennDOT office to get a photo ID. We can tell you, it won’t be easy.

Pennsylvania's Natural Gas Tax Giveaway Exceeds $500 Million Mark

Blog post updated: September 11, 2012

The state's Department of Environmental Production (DEP) recently published a biannual report on Marcellus Shale production in Pennsylvania. (Most states require monthly reporting, but that is a different story.) In the data, we can now see how much the state has really given away by refusing to put a robust gas extraction tax in place — and the sum is staggering.

Midday Must Reads: Vouchers Advocate to Lead Chester Upland's Recovery and Mortgage Assistance Reborn

There is some dismay in the Chester Upland School District about the state's appointment of Joe Watkins, who heads a political action committee that supports school vouchers, to lead the school district's financial recovery process.

Third and State Recap: Weak Jobs Report for July, Water Polo and the Economy, and the Ryan Budget in PA

Over the past two weeks, we have been busy blogging about July reports on jobs and state revenues, how much the Ryan budget would cost Pennsylvania, what water polo swimsuit malfunctions have to do with the economy, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price analyzed Pennsylvania's jobs report for July, and the news was not good.
  • On the state budget, Michael Wood wrote that July tax collections were solid, starting the commonwealth out on the right foot in the new fiscal year.
  • On the federal budget, Jamar Thrasher blogged about a new Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report estimating that Pennsylvania would lose more than $1 billion in federal funding for education, law enforcement, clean water, and other projects under the federal budget proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan.
  • On the economy and regulations, Steve Herzenberg noted that the need for rules to discourage water polo players from ripping off each other’s swimsuits underscores the need for regulations to promote more constructive competition in our economy. (You can also listen here to Steve discuss this theme while guest hosting The Rick Smith Show August 8.)
  • On education, Jamar Thrasher blogged about a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article detailing how charter schools play by a different set of rules than public schools.
  • In Morning Must Reads over the past two weeks, Mark Price highlighted news reports on the Corbett administration's decision to end programs that help low-income households file their taxes; people impacted by the elimination of General Assistance in Pennsylvania; the need for paid sick leave for more than 40 million American workers; and even more resources on the Ryan budget plan.
  • And in a Friday Funny today, Chris Lilienthal shared a Monty Python clip about some rather enthusiastic Mosquito Hunters that had some of us thinking about the state's new Voter ID Law.

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

Friday Funny: Voter ID and Mosquito Hunting

This comes to us via Twitter from Dr. Chris Hughes, a critical care and hospice physician in Pittsburgh and the state director of Doctors for America. He likens the state's new Voter ID Law to Monty Python's rather enthusiastic mosquito hunters. Watch the clip and tell us what you think.

It's Jobs Thursday in Pennsylvania and the News Ain't Good

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate shot up three-tenths of a point in July to 7.9%. Just two months before in May, the rate was 7.4%. Total nonfarm jobs in the state were down 3,100 in July.

Morning Must Reads: Helping the Poor Not a Core Mission of the PA Department of Public Welfare?

The Philadelphia Inquirer this morning reports on the move by the Corbett administration to end programs that help low-income households file their taxes.

These programs are especially important because they raise the rate at which low-income households file for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The credit provides these households with much-needed income that ends up getting spent in the local community.

Asked about the cuts, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Welfare, an agency that spent thousands on a flagpole recently, noted that helping people to apply for the EITC is not a core service of the Department of Public Welfare.

Insufficient Oversight of Charter Schools in Pennsylvania

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In preparation for the back-to-school craze that will soon hit all American school children, let's have some fun by talking about schools — specifically, public schools and charter schools! 

Ryan Budget Would Cost Pennsylvania More Than $1 Billion in Federal Funds

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates Pennsylvania would lose more than $1 billion in federal funding for education, law enforcement, clean water, and other state and local government projects under the federal budget proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan. The plan also includes cuts to Medicaid and highway projects, costing Pennsylvania jobs.

Morning Must Reads: Your End of Summer Reading Assignment - Understanding the Ryan Budget

Hi all, a combination of vacations and the rush to finish the State of Working Pennsylvania 2012 mean our blogging could be a bit spotty over the next week or so. Bygones!

Onto today's Morning Must Reads.

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