What's in the Governor's 2014-15 Budget?

General Fund Spending: 2014-15 Executive BudgetGovernor Tom Corbett has proposed a 2014-15 state General Fund budget that would spend $29.4 billion, $927 million, or 3.3%, more than the current fiscal year.

Infographic: Bridging the Budget Gap in 2014-15

Punxsutawney Phil predicted chilly weather ahead on Sunday. Will Governor Corbett do the same?

On Tuesday, Governor Corbett will emerge from his office to deliver his state budget address. Will he see much-needed sources of revenue in Pennsylvania’s future, or will this early February ritual result in an extension of economic winter for our state?

Camelot: Where King Arthur...I Mean Queen Dianne...Earns a Cool £2.1 Million

Pennsylvania Senate hearings on lottery expansion earlier this week focused on increasing state revenue for seniors' programs by expanding lottery games under public management (to include keno). This was a welcome shift from last year's proposed privatization of the lottery with the Camelot Group, a British company, and a temporary reprieve from more recent rumors about privatizing lottery management.

Minimum Wage Raise Would Primarily Benefit Adult Workers in PA

In January, the minimum wage rose to $8.25 an hour in New Jersey, $8 in New York, and to $7.95 in Ohio — while here in Pennsylvania it remains at the federal level of $7.25 an hour, unchanged since 2009. Legislation in Pennsylvania would change that, raising the state's wage to $9 an hour by 2015.

Small Revenue Shortfall Predicted for 2013-14 But No Need to Panic — Yet

Pennsylvania is staring at a likely revenue shortfall of more than $100 million come June when the current fiscal year draws to a close, according to the latest revenue estimates from the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office (IFO). A slow-growing economy has dampened tax and other collections during the first half of the 2013-14 fiscal year, and IFO analysts think the trend will continue in the months ahead.

PA Saw Less Job Growth, Shrinking Labor Force in 2013

With Pennsylvania's December jobs report out today, we are able to draw a few conclusions about job growth in 2013 — and the news is mostly not good. Monthly job growth continued to decelerate across the commonwealth last year, and while the unemployment rate dropped by more than a percentage point from January to December, much of that is linked to a shrinking labor force rather than booming job growth.

Fuzzy Shale Jobs Math. One More Time...in PA's New State Energy Plan

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With the Corbett administration rolling out a new State Energy Plan today, I'll leave it to the energy policy experts to produce a comprehensive evaluation of it. Here, I want to focus on one narrow issue — the jobs impact of shale drilling.

Education Love Fest Starts, But Is It The Real Thing?

In the weeks leading up to the release of a proposed state budget in February, governors typically schedule photo ops to announce some new budget initiative popular with the public. This signals the administration’s priorities, keeps the good news from getting lost in the overall budget story, and builds up political capital for the budget fight ahead.

It's Great to Have Gas

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A new report out from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University gives Pennsylvania low marks for its finances, placing it 42nd nationally in overall fiscal condition and 47th in cash solvency.

The report also provides new evidence that it is great to have gas (and oil) — if you tax it appropriately.

Don't Give Up The Fight

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With the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty at hand, it is a good time to reflect on just how much of a positive impact President Lyndon B. Johnson’s landmark initiative has had in reducing poverty in the U.S.

The 1960s effort created the modern day safety net for working families, started important initiatives like college aid that boosted college access for a generation and expanded health coverage through Medicaid and Medicare.

Observers on the right have tried to argue that these initiatives have been unsuccessful and that we ought to give up.

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