Pennsylvania will only become a beacon for opportunity when its policies are in the hands of taxpayers and citizens, not special interests and bureaucrats. It’s vital that our government is accountable to the people—not organizations or institutions. Policies that advance transparency and restore workers’ rights are the keys to this happening.

Public Union Democracy

Union Leaders: Resignation Denied

  • Jessica Barnett
  • December 11, 2018

William Neely is a psychiatric aide in Berks County and a 15-year union member. Mr. Neely felt his union leaders, AFSCME 13, no longer represented his interests, and attempted to resign…

Media

Read More: Union Leaders: Resignation Denied

Government Accountability

Union Leaders Lied, Now Members Sue

  • Jessica Barnett
  • December 10, 2018

Unions should represent employees, not work against their own members’ interests. Yet, that’s exactly what happened to public sector workers in Erie—and some are pushing back. During closed-door negotiation…

Media

Read More: Union Leaders Lied, Now Members Sue

Education

Teacher shortage? Try competition.

  • Colleen Hroncich
  • November 25, 2018

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to … tinker with markets. That isn’t the original ending to that sentence, but it is certainly accurate. There…

Media

Read More: Teacher shortage? Try competition.

Government Accountability

It’s Apparent PA’s Not Transparent

  • Jessica Barnett
  • November 20, 2018

Parties and perks on taxpayers' dime was the headline-grabbing news from Pennsylvania's Auditor General investigation of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC). His findings underscore the need for government transparency. The SRBC,…

Media

Read More: It’s Apparent PA’s Not Transparent

Public Union Democracy

A Voice for Workers or Political Puppet Master?

  • Jessica Barnett
  • November 5, 2018

Once again, government unions are among the biggest political spenders in Pennsylvania. While we must wait weeks for a final tally of election spending, unions have already spent another $5…

Media

Read More: A Voice for Workers or Political Puppet Master?

Government Accountability

Pennsylvania’s #1 Special Interest Problem

  • Jessica Barnett
  • October 31, 2018

A solution that makes the problem worse is no solution at all. Yet, recent calls for campaign finance reform and a natural gas severance tax would do just that—selectively…

Media

Read More: Pennsylvania’s #1 Special Interest Problem

Public Union Democracy

New Lawsuit Challenges Union Resignation Restrictions

  • Jessica Barnett
  • October 24, 2018

Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court freed all public sector workers from paying agency fees to a union they didn’t join. Since then, many workers who are dissatisfied with…

Media

Read More: New Lawsuit Challenges Union Resignation Restrictions

Public Union Democracy

Labor Unrest…From Union Employees

  • Jessica Barnett
  • October 19, 2018

Imagine: you are a hard-working custodian who scrubs bathrooms and vacuums hallways for a company you’ve always respected. It’s an honest job, and when the company tells you it values…

Media

Read More: Labor Unrest…From Union Employees

Public Union Democracy

Crucial Janus Legislation Deferred

  • Jessica Barnett
  • October 12, 2018

To enact important reforms before the end of legislative session, Pennsylvania lawmakers must run bills on a tight schedule. Unfortunately, on Wednesday House leadership removed a Janus enforcement bill (HB 2571) from consideration—meaning…

Media

Read More: Crucial Janus Legislation Deferred

Public Union Democracy

Top 10 Recipients of Government Union PAC Contributions

  • Jessica Barnett
  • October 9, 2018

Government unions have spent more than $120 million since 2007 to advance their fiercely partisan and political agenda. As the graphic below shows, Democratic candidates receive the most direct PAC donations from…

Media

Read More: Top 10 Recipients of Government Union PAC Contributions

Public Union Democracy

Top 5 Reasons to Support HB 2571

  • Elizabeth Stelle, Jessica Barnett
  • October 9, 2018

HB 2571 is a commonsense reform that benefits public sector workers and aligns Pennsylvania law with the U.S. Supreme Court's Janus v. AFSCME decision. Here are five reasons it must…

Media

Read More: Top 5 Reasons to Support HB 2571

Education

Unions and their Impact on Teachers

  • Colleen Hroncich
  • October 5, 2018

Conventional wisdom tells us unions are good for teachers. But is this true? While teachers’ unions have certainly benefited union leadership, rank and file teachers should carefully evaluate the…

Media

Read More: Unions and their Impact on Teachers

Public Union Democracy

Who Benefits from Union Political Spending?

  • Jessica Barnett
  • October 3, 2018

From teachers’ strikes to the significant U.S. Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME, government unions catapulted into the national spotlight this year. Yet union direct political engagement has remained strong for…

Media

Read More: Who Benefits from Union Political Spending?

Public Union Democracy

Lawmakers Must Prioritize Pro-Worker Legislation

  • Jessica Barnett
  • October 2, 2018

With a few session days left, lawmakers must prioritize legislation to align state law with federal law and tell workers their rights. HB 2571 enforces the U.S. Supreme Court decision…

Media

Read More: Lawmakers Must Prioritize Pro-Worker Legislation

Public Union Democracy

Enforcing Janus

  • Jessica Barnett
  • October 1, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME is a landmark decision for public sector workers—yet is not self-enforcing. It's time for Pennsylvania lawmakers to defend public sector employees' new-found rights…

Media

Read More: Enforcing Janus

Public Union Democracy

Lawmakers and Union Leaders Attack Election Privacy

  • September 25, 2018

Today, Rep. Maureen Madden and Rep. Thomas Mehaffie introduced anti-worker legislation that would strip government workers of privacy rights in workplace elections and give union leaders workers’ personal information. HB…

Press Release

Read More: Lawmakers and Union Leaders Attack Election Privacy

Public Union Democracy

Legislation Moves to Enforce Workers’ Rights

  • Jessica Barnett
  • September 24, 2018

In the first full session day after the landmark Janus v. AFSCME U.S. Supreme Court decision, the state House Labor Committee passed legislation to protect the rights of public sector…

Media

Read More: Legislation Moves to Enforce Workers’ Rights

Public Union Democracy

House Committee Advances Bills Giving Government Workers a Bigger Voice

  • September 24, 2018

Today, the Pennsylvania House Labor and Industry Committee passed several crucial bills supporting government workers’ constitutional rights. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that…

Press Release

Read More: House Committee Advances Bills Giving Government Workers a Bigger Voice

Criminal Justice Reform

Safe and Smart: Fixing Harsh Life Sentences

  • September 21, 2018

In this second blog in our Safe and Smart series, we tackle Pennsylvania’s practice of sentencing offenders to life without parole (LWOP). LWOP is coming under greater scrutiny from people across the…

Media

Read More: Safe and Smart: Fixing Harsh Life Sentences

Public Union Democracy

Lawmakers Can Stand Up for Home Care Workers

  • September 18, 2018

In early 2015 Governor Wolf issued an executive order unionizing home care workers throughout Pennsylvania, many of whom care for their own relatives. The state Supreme Court recently upheld the order. By…

Media

Read More: Lawmakers Can Stand Up for Home Care Workers