Top Five CF Research Articles of 2010

Based on website visits, here are the five most popular research articles produced by the Commonwealth Foundation in the past year:

#5: A Taxpayer’s Budget 2010: Responsible Spending for Pennsylvania

A Taxpayer’s Budget 2010: Responsible Spending for Pennsylvania identifies opportunities to cut over $4 billion in wasteful state spending in Gov. Rendell’s proposed FY 2010-11 budget. The report also offers a series of recommendations for resolving the current revenue shortfall and reducing the size and burden of government on Pennsylvanians.

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#4: Pennsylvania Pensions and Taxes

Pennsylvania’s statewide pension plans for public school employees, state workers, legislators, judges and other government employees—the Public School Employee Retirement System (PSERS) and the State Employee Retirement System (SERS)—will require significantly higher taxpayer contributions in the 2012-13 fiscal year and beyond.

The following spreadsheets provide a breakdown of these increased pension costs, based on SERS and PSERS latest projections, to make them more understandable and tangible for the taxpayer.

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#3: Climategate & Penn State

The release of embarrassingly candid emails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia has intensified, if not vindicated, suspicions that scientific misconduct has played a significant role in fueling alarmism over supposed catastrophic manmade global warming.

Just days after news broke about what has been dubbed “Climategate,” Penn State University (PSU) announced that it would investigate the conduct of Michael Mann, a professor in PSU’s Department of Meteorology and a prominent figure in the Climategate emails.

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#2: Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Candidate Survey

The Commonwealth Foundation asked each of the candidates in the May primary for Pennsylvania Governor to answer a series of 20 questions about state economic and fiscal policy. Answers for those candidates responding to the survey are summarized in the table. Responses from the remaining candidates will be added as they are received.

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#1: Citizen’s Guide to Electric Choice & Competition

In the late 1990s, Pennsylvania’s electricity rates were 15% above the national average, despite the abundance of low-cost coal generation in the Commonwealth. At that time, electricity was sold by a monopoly utility provider per designated region. Then federal regulations changed to allow electricity markets to develop. The state legislature responded with the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act, signed in December 1996, promising lower prices and better service through consumer choice and generation competition.

Today, consumers can shop for a new supplier who passes generation and transmission costs directly on to them.

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For the rest of our year-end review, check out the top 5 PolicyBlog posts of 2010.