Why a Minimum-wage Increase Would Help Families in Pennsylvania

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When you restrict your view to just parents affected by an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, the average low-wage parent is responsible for just over half (51%) of her family's income.

Some Major Corporations Pay Little or Nothing in State Income Taxes

What do Pennsylvania-based companies PPL, H.J. Heinz, Airgas, Allegheny Technologies, Hershey, and Comcast have in common? They each pay little or nothing in state income taxes, according to a new report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ).

Commentary: A Unified Tax Policy for Marcellus Drilling in Ohio, Pa., and W.Va.

On Tuesday, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published an op-ed that i co-wrote with Wendy Patton of Ohio Policy Matters and Ted Boettner of the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy making the case for a unified approach to taxing shale drilling across our three states. Check it out:

Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia share a lot in common, including job markets, highways, rolling hills, watersheds and natural resources. In some places, shale wells in close proximity to each other are in different states.

Yet each of our three states has taken a vastly different approach to taxing oil and gas drilling.

More Minimum Wage Momentum in WV and MD. Is PA Next?

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An alliance of religious, labor, community, and women’s groups will kick off a campaign this afternoon to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania to at least $10.10 per hour. 

Raising the minimum wage has already gained momentum nationally and is likely to be a defining issue in Pennsylvania's gubernatorial election this year. It's also a policy issue where Pennsylvania is lagging well behind our neighboring states.

Education Advocates Make a Case for Philly School Funding

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Sharon Ward, PA Budget and Policy CenterA coalition of education advocates joined forces to call on Philadelphia City Council to provide $195 million in sustainable local funding to the city's school district next year.

At an event last Thursday when Council met, several speakers explained how much students have suffered from budget cuts in recent years and how city leaders must step up once again to provide needed funding for city schools.

“Philadelphia students, teachers, and staff cannot go through another year of upheaval and uncertainty,” said Sharon Ward of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, one of the advocates to participate Thursday.

Makers of the U.S. Unite: The UAW Vote at VW One More Time

There are three central challenges facing U.S. manufacturing today: wages are too low, employers invest too little in their workers, and the sector lacks meaningful credentials or job-matching institutions allowing dislocated workers to find new manufacturing jobs that capitalize on their skills.

Understanding the Union Vote at VW in Tennessee

As you probably know, the United Auto Workers (UAW) lost a union election at a Chattanooga Volkswagen plant last month by a vote of 712 to 646 (53% to 47%). My heart goes out to the workers and UAW leaders who put heart and soul into achieving a different result.

I was taken aback by the vote, I have to admit. So it has taken me a couple of weeks to process it.

Taking a Common Approach to Shale Taxation in OH, PA, WV

Although their state capitals are separated by hundreds of miles, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia are home to Marcellus Shale gas fields that in some cases are separated by only a few miles.

From that vantage point, advocates from the three states said it would make sense for Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia to take a common approach to taxing shale gas and oil drilling.

PA Payrolls Essentially Unchanged in January But Jobless Rate Falls to 6.4%

Today was an unusual first Friday of the month as we got both a national release of job numbers for February and a Pennsylvania jobs release for January.

Both reports were a mixed bag:

  • National payrolls grew a bit faster than expectations, but the unemployment rate climbed to 6.7% in February.
  • Pennsylvania payrolls grew by a disappointing 500 jobs in January, but the unemployment rate declined four-tenths of one percentage point to 6.4%.

PA Job Growth Slows Once Again in 2013

By several measures, Pennsylvania’s economic recovery is still limping along. That is the essential finding of a new policy brief from the Keystone Research Center examining Pennsylvania job growth since the recession ended.

Job growth in the state has slowed steadily over each of the past three years with only about a quarter of the number of jobs created in 2013 as in 2010, the first full year of the economic recovery.

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