Live Tweeting House Debate on Corporate Tax Cut Plan

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is live-tweeting the debate on the floor of the state House over legislation that will cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars annually within just a few years. The result will be less money for the investments that boost Pennsylvania’s economy, such as a strong education system, roads and bridges, and safe schools, streets, and communities. Follow along below.

Don't Like to Look at Percents? Then PA's Job Rank Is Even Worse

When it comes to evaluating Pennsylvania's job growth performance, Governor Tom Corbett said last week, "I don't like to look at percents." (Watch this clip about 1 minute 15 seconds in for that quote.)

OK, let's compare what Governor Corbett does like to look at — "how many people got on payroll" (actual job growth) before he came into office and since then.

Third and State This Week: Revenue Update, Assessing PA Job Growth, Expanding Health Care, Pensions Webinar & More

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a new Independent Fiscal Office report showing state revenues lagging earlier estimates, a study on salaries at nonprofit and for-profit human service providers, the budget and economic benefits of expanding Medicaid health coverage, a webinar on the public pensions debate, and job growth in Pennsylvania.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On state budget and tax policy, Michael Wood blogged about a new report from the Independent Fiscal Office forecasting over $500 million less available for the next budget than revenue estimates in the Governor’s February budget proposal. Sharon Ward wrote about a new Legislative Budget and Finance Committee study of the salaries of nonprofit and for-profit human service providers.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price wrote that policy decisions made by governors impact whether a state’s economy takes on more water, or bails successfully, as it rides the wave of the national economy.
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal blogged about two studies demonstrating that Pennsylvania’s economy and state budget will get a big boost if the commonwealth accepts federal funding allocated to expand Medicaid health coverage.
  • Finally, we shared a webinar hosted this week by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center titled "Untangling Pennsylvania's Pension Reform Debate."

IN OTHER NEWS:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Pennsylvania Job Growth Continues to Slide

Acknowledging complexity in economic and jobs data always runs a certain risk. I was reminded of that this week when I spoke with a reporter at PoliticsPA about Pennsylvania’s job growth during Governor Corbett’s administration. After spending an hour on the phone with the reporter laying out the data, the resulting story largely missed the forest for the trees.

Watch Webinar to Untangle PA's Pension Reform Debate

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Everywhere you turn, you hear about the public pension debate unfolding in Pennsylvania, but what is it all about? How did we get where we are? What are the proposals under discussion in Harrisburg and how do you interpret them? In this webinar, hosted by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on April 30, pension experts broke it all down, explaining what is fact and what is fiction in the pension debate.

IFO Projects $500 Million Less Revenue in Next Budget

Pennsylvania General Fund revenue collections came in $32 million above projections for April, putting the fiscal year-to-date surplus at $67 million, a scant 0.3% over official budget estimates.

The same day April's revenue report came out the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released the first official look at future revenues since the Governor’s budget was released in February — and the news is not good.

PA Study Finds Nonprofits Aren't Getting Rich Off the Public Dollar

On April 16, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) quickly and quietly disposed of a study of the salaries of nonprofit and for-profit human service providers.

More Evidence that Expanding Health Care Is Good for PA's Economy and Budget

I know, we're starting to sound like a broken record here, but two new studies once again demonstrate that Pennsylvania’s economy and state budget will get a big boost if the commonwealth accepts federal funding allocated to expand Medicaid health coverage.

Third and State This Week: Corporate Tax Cuts Without Closing Loopholes, Challenges Face Poor College Students

This week at Third and State, we blogged about how a corporate tax cut bill in the state House will come at the expense of schools and health care in Pennsylvania, the challenges facing low-income students attending college, and an honor bestowed on one of our own for his workforce development work.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On state budget and tax policy, Sharon Ward shared how state House lawmakers voted on an amendment that would have taken steps to close the Delaware loophole. She also shared a podcast from a media briefing on a House bill enacting hundreds of millions in new corporate tax cuts over the course of a decade. And Chris Lilienthal had more on the tax cuts, which will come at the expense of investments in schools, infrastructure and local services.
  • On higher education, Jamar Thrasher wrote that too many low-income students who pursue college are sidetracked by economic and other challenges — in some cases, leaving them with big debts but no degree.
  • On workforce development, Steve Herzenberg blogged about receiving the Workforce Professional of the Year award from the Manufacturers Association of South Central Pennsylvania and what he took away from hearing awards dinner keynote speaker Steve Forbes.

IN OTHER NEWS:

  • The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) released an analysis of House Bill 440, legislation that advances the Governor's corporate tax cut plan at the expense of investments that really matter in our schools and communities.
  • The Keystone Research Center (KRC) released a summary of testimony on the negative social impacts of retail liquor privatization delivered at a roundtable discussion this week hosted by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:

  • Join Steve Herzenberg and Senate staffer John Raymond on Tuesday, April 30 for a "Pensions 101" webinar. If you have wondered what is fact and what is fiction in the pension debate, and how to respond to it, this webinar is for you.

Why Some Poor Students Aren't Graduating College

Despite being heralded as a great equalizer, education can widen the socioeconomic gap between affluent and poor college students. Previously, I blogged about the trend of top-achieving low-income high school students not applying to top American colleges and universities. But what happens to students from poor neighborhoods who do go onto college?

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