Center for Economic Freedom & Prosperity

The Center for Economic Freedom and Prosperity promotes economic policies that limit government intervention in the economy; encourage the entrepreneurial spirit and competition; and allow Pennsylvanians to pursue their own happiness and take personal responsibility for their lives.




Research Items

APRIL 22, 2015 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Bills Shining Light on Secret Contract Talks Advance in Senate

Today, the Senate State Government Committee passed a collection of bills aimed at enhancing transparency in government union contract negotiations.

APRIL 21, 2015 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

State Senate Committee Advances Taxpayer Protection Act

Today, the Senate Finance Committee passed Taxpayer Protection Act legislation to the floor, kicking off a push to protect middle-class Pennsylvanians’ finances from unaffordable spending and tax increases like those recently proposed by Gov. Wolf.

APRIL 21, 2015 | Commentary by ELIZABETH STELLE

The Unintended Consequences of Wolf's Budget

If the proposed sales tax expansion contained in Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal becomes law, Louise Bell's nursing home costs will jump by $3,000—essentially adding a 13th month to her annual bill. That’s just one of the many unintended consequences of Wolf’s budget plan which—despite being sold as tax cut for middle-class families—would create few winners and many losers across every income level.

APRIL 20, 2015 | Policy Memo by NATHAN BENEFIELD, BOB DICK

Gov. Wolf’s Stealth Unionization of Home Health Care Workers

On February 27, Gov. Wolf issued an executive order paving the way for unionization of homecare workers in Pennsylvania. These workers provide in-home medical and personal care, allowing disabled and elderly Pennsylvanians to receive necessary treatments and support in the comfort and privacy of their own home. Many of these workers are simply taking care of a family member or loved one and have no connection to government employment. Yet, Gov. Wolf is pushing to unionize these workers, a mov

APRIL 20, 2015 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Wolf Only One NOT Calling Home Care Action Unionization

Governor Wolf insists his executive order does not pave the way for unionizing home care workers, but don’t tell that to United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania (UHWP)—a self-described union backed by the SEIU and AFSCME. It sent out mailers to home care workers over the weekend urging them to join their union—and encouraging home care workers to sign up for payroll deduction of their union dues.

APRIL 14, 2015 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Ambush Election Confirms Wolf’s Deceptive Homecare Order is Union Gift

April 14, 2015, HARRISBURG, Pa.—Two lawsuits filed in Commonwealth Court last week say Gov. Wolf’s February executive order is an illegal attempt to unionize thousands of Pennsylvania homecare workers. But both the governor and his spokesman have consistently denied it does any such thing. Now, secret ballots sent to homecare workers for a union ambush election show those claims to be deceptive.

APRIL 1, 2015 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Anti-Competitive Prevailing Wage Mandates Cost $1 Billion Annually

Wouldn’t a billion dollars go a long way to closing the budget deficit, funding schools, or lowering property taxes? New research from the Commonwealth Foundation shows simply ending prevailing wage mandates could save taxpayers billions for years to come.

APRIL 1, 2015 | Policy Points by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Prevailing Wage Reform in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s Prevailing Wage Law was enacted in 1961, mandating that state and local governments pay construction contractors wages that “prevail” in each region on projects costing $25,000 or more. This anachronistic mandate limits the number of construction jobs in the state and unnecessarily increases costs for state government, local governments, and school districts.

MARCH 30, 2015 | Commentary by JAMES PAUL

Our Undemocratic Teachers' Unions

Is American democracy under assault? That’s a question often asked when businesses exert political influence, unelected bureaucrats misuse power, or reporters engage in slanted storytelling. It’s time to add public-school unions to the list: These undemocratic interest groups dominate America’s urban education system to the detriment of students across the nation.

MARCH 26, 2015 | Commentary by MATTHEW BROUILLETTE

Wolf Negotiates Billions with Unions Who Gave Him Millions

Wolf received more than $2.6 million in campaign contributions from six of the government unions with whom he will be negotiating. How does Wolf square these contributions to his campaign while elsewhere touting his ban on gifts from anyone who is "seeking to obtain business from or has financial relations with the commonwealth"?

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The Commonwealth Foundation is Pennsylvania's free-market think tank.  The Commonwealth Foundation transforms free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish.