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

DECEMBER 2, 2016 | Policy Points by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Tracking State Budget Trends

The 2016-17 General Fund budget added to Pennsylvania’s fiscal challenges. Lawmakers approved the $31.6 billion budget without implementing meaningful reforms or authorizing enough revenue to balance the budget. Despite lacking solid revenue sources, the legislature increased spending by $1.6 billion—a sum vastly exceeding the combined growth rate of inflation and population.

NOVEMBER 16, 2016 | News Availability

New IFO Report Emphasizes Need to Reform Spending

Pennsylvania Deficit Watch

Yesterday’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) mid-year report warned Pennsylvania could face a $900 million budget shortfall this year alone. By 2022, this deficit could reach $3 billion per year.

NOVEMBER 14, 2016 | News Release

Pa. Gets a 'D' in First Ever 50-State Public Sector Labor Analysis

Pennsylvania is one of 22 states ranking an abysmal “D” or “F” for the negative impact of their public sector labor laws on taxpayers and government workers, according to a first-of-its-kind

NOVEMBER 13, 2016 | Policy Report by PRIYA ABRAHAM

Transforming Labor

A Comprehensive, Nationwide Comparison and Grading of Public Sector Labor Laws

Executive Summary In the last five years, Americans have seen an unprecedented sweep of public sector labor reforms across several states. Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana—and most recently, West Virginia in July 2016—have all become right-to-work states. Other states have limited the scope of collective barga

NOVEMBER 2, 2016 | News Release

Government Unions Pour Millions into Pa. Elections

Government union leaders have poured nearly $8 million into Pennsylvania races, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

OCTOBER 28, 2016 | Commentary by JAMES PAUL

Ghosts in the Education Machine

If Pennsylvania students miss three days of school without an excuse, the law says they must be reported. But across the commonwealth, certain teachers have been absent for years—without consequences

OCTOBER 27, 2016 | News Availability

Union Leaders Kill Critical Pension Reform at Members’ and Taxpayers’ Expense

In a blow to the public employees they claim to represent, government union leaders blocked significant pension reform that would have enhanced choice and portability for new state and public school employees and slowed the accumulation of taxpayer-backed pension debt.

OCTOBER 12, 2016 | News Release

Are These 8 Pa. School Districts Piling Up Tax Dollars Like Lower Merion?

A Montgomery County judge recently ruled that Lower Merion School District misled taxpayers by stashing huge cash reserves while repeatedly hiking taxes on township residents. Could 8 other Pennsylvania school districts be doing the same thing?

SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 | News Availability

House Committee Votes to Save Vape Shops

Today, the House Finance Committee voted 19-4 to repeal the 40-percent retroactive tax that is poised to drive hundreds of vape shops out of business and

SEPTEMBER 23, 2016 | Commentary by BOB DICK

Tax Sends Vape Shops Up in Smoke

Imagine you find a way to help others live healthier lives, and this passion leads you to invest your savings to start a related small business. Now, imagine state government taking it all away from you with the stroke of a pen.

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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.

Will Lower Standards Help Pa. School Performance?

December 9

Pennsylvania’s primary tool for grading schools –the School Performance Profile (SPP)—is being overhauled. The current SPP is not particularly straightforward, but it’s based mainly on test scores and academic growth. At the direction of Gov. Tom Wolf, the revised SPP will become ...