Immigrants Contribute to State's Economy as Small Business Owners

An increasing share of small business owners in Pennsylvania and the nation are immigrants, according to a new report from the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative.

The report breaks new ground by using Census data (including the results of a previously unpublished Survey of Business Owners) to study people who own an incorporated business and whose main job is to run that business.

Here's the takeaway.

Morning Must Reads: Alcohol and Lottery Privatization, HEMAP Almost Saved!

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports this morning that the latest push to privatize Pennsylvania's liquor stores stalled earlier this week but is now scheduled to begin again next Monday.

Radical Property Tax Plan Falls Short in North Dakota, Dims Chances for Pennsylvania Plan

CNN Monday reports this morning that North Dakota voters, by a wide margin, defeated a plan to end the property tax and replace school funding with oil tax dollars. Why would voters turn down the chance to have their tax bills paid by now booming oil development? It seems that, as in Pennsylvania, a significant majority of North Dakotans like having local control over schools. The North Dakota initiative would have shifted control to the state government, which collects the oil dollars.

PA House Sets Budget Priorities, Laying Groundwork for Final Negotiations

Originally posted at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's web site.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives debated and amended the Senate’s budget bill last week — adding $91 million to the Departments of Education, Environmental Protection and Public Welfare, while subtracting a comparable amount from the Governor’s office, economic development programs and general government operations. 

House leaders established rules for the floor debate that any amendment to the budget had to be paid for through spending cuts elsewhere. As a result, the total budget remains at the Senate’s mark of $27.656 billion.

Alcohol Privatization More Costly to Consumers and Comes with Greater Social Harm

Posted in:

Alcohol PrivatizationThe Pennsylvania House of Representatives began debate Monday evening on a new plan to privatize state wine and spirits stores. To help inform that debate, the Keystone Research Center has a new Alcohol Privatization Issue Page summarizing our recent research and analysis on the issue. Much of our work has found that privatization is likely to have significant negative impacts on the state’s fiscal and public health.

This Week at Third and State: Tax Break for Shell Cracker Plant, Payday Lending and Budget Myths

This week at Third and State, we blogged about Governor Tom Corbett's proposal to give Shell Oil Co. a $1.65 billion tax credit over 25 years for building an ethane cracker plant in Pennsylvania. We also wrote about the passage of legislation in the state House to legalize predatory payday lending, the myths behind Governor Corbett's budget myths, the national job numbers for May, and more. 


  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward blogged about the five "myths" the Corbett administration claims are circulating about the governor's proposed budget — and the myths behind the myths.
  • On tax policy, Mark Price highlighted a Philadelphia Daily News report on Governor Corbett's proposal to give Shell a $1.6 billion tax credit for locating an ethane cracker plant in the state. Chris Lilienthal wrote about a Capitolwire report asking whether Shell should get such a large tax break for jobs that other companies may bring to Pennsylvania.
  • On consumer protection, Mark Price was on top of developments with the payday lending bill, which passed the House on Wednesday. He had updates here and here and blogged about the bill's final passage here.
  • On job and the economy, Mark Price made sense of the national jobs numbers for May. He also took a look at the impact of economic austerity on Pennsylvania schools.

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

Should Shell Oil Get a Tax Credit for Jobs Created by Other Companies? has a story (subscription) this morning asking whether Shell Oil should get a tax credit worth $1.65 billion for jobs that other companies may bring to Pennsylvania.

The Myths Behind Governor Corbett's Budget Myths

Governor Tom Corbett's May 21 newsletter offered up responses to five "myths" the administration claims are circulating about his proposed budget for next year. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center examined these myths and the myths behind the myths to give you a clear picture about what is fact and what is fiction in Harrisburg.

House Passes Predatory Pay Day Lending Bill

Counting two late votes, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 103 to 91 in favor of House Bill 2191, a measure that raises the cap on the annual interest rate for payday loans to 369%. There was bipartisan opposition to the bill with 19 Republicans joining Democrats to vote against the measure. Support for the measure was also bipartisan with 17 Democrats joining Republicans voting in favor.

Possible Vote To Permit Predatory Payday Lending Looms Again Today

According to Kerry Smith of Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, House Bill 2191 did not get a vote in the Pennsylvania House as expected Tuesday, but it is once again on the calendar for possible consideration today. Please ask your friends and family to reach out to their representative to keep the pressure on to not pass this bill.

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