The state government is ultimately held accountable to the people through the electoral process—but that should not be the only line of defense against government overreach or waste. Taxpayers deserve a transparent government that works for them. Reforms are needed to reduce corruption and limit the scope of government to its constitutional authority. Additionally, reforms that ensure a transparent budgeting process, a fair electoral process, and a streamlined regulatory process should be pursued to increase the government’s integrity.

Fairness

PA Is the Epicenter of Democrats’ Political Spending

  • Nathan Benefield
  • October 19, 2022

Originally published at RealClearPennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro’s overflowing campaign coffers underscore the importance of Pennsylvania to national politics—and the influence of government unions in elections. With four…

Media Hit

Read More: PA Is the Epicenter of Democrats’ Political Spending

Fairness

New Numbers on Political Spending by Government Union Executives

  • September 2, 2022

Labor Day is a celebration of the American worker—their contributions and achievements that make this country great. Unfortunately, many American workers are sidelined—even bullied—by organizations that are meant to represent…

Memo

Read More: New Numbers on Political Spending by Government Union Executives

Fairness

Four Bills Would Empower Workers & Protect Taxpayer Resources

  • January 25, 2022

January 25, 2022, Harrisburg, Pa. — Four bills approved by the House Labor and Industry Committee Tuesday could soon bring several key public-sector labor reforms to a House vote. Lawmakers…

Press Release

Read More: Four Bills Would Empower Workers & Protect Taxpayer Resources

Fairness

Op-Ed: Gerrymandering won’t save unpopular candidates

  • Nathan Benefield
  • January 1, 2022

Originally published in Pittsburgh Tribune-Review With state and congressional redistricting underway in Harrisburg, many politicians have blamed “partisan gerrymandering” for past election losses. But this is another instance when the…

Media Hit

Read More: Op-Ed: Gerrymandering won’t save unpopular candidates

Government Accountability

Study: Pa. Taxpayers on Hook for at Least $42 Million in Lobbying Costs

  • December 6, 2021

December 6, 2021, Harrisburg, Pa.—Pennsylvania taxpayers paid for at least $42 million in lobbying expenses from 2007–2020, according to two reports released today by the Commonwealth Foundation. The $42 million…

Press Release

Read More: Study: Pa. Taxpayers on Hook for at Least $42 Million in Lobbying Costs

Government Accountability

How Pa. Governments Use Tax Dollars to Pay Associations to Lobby

  • Elizabeth Stelle, Jessica Barnett
  • December 1, 2021

Prohibiting local governments and government agencies from diverting public funds to these associations would increase transparency and prevent taxpayers’ dollars from funding lobbying harmful to taxpayers.

Backgrounder

Read More: How Pa. Governments Use Tax Dollars to Pay Associations to Lobby

Government Accountability

How Pa. Governments Use Tax Dollars to Pay Contract Lobbyists

  • Elizabeth Stelle, Jessica Barnett
  • December 1, 2021

Prohibiting local governments and government agencies from diverting public funds to these associations would increase transparency and prevent taxpayers’ dollars from funding lobbying harmful to taxpayers.

Backgrounder

Read More: How Pa. Governments Use Tax Dollars to Pay Contract Lobbyists

Government Accountability

Fiscal Earmarks Reduce State Budget Transparency

  • Jessica Barnett
  • August 19, 2021

The 2021–2022 Fiscal Code contains at least $5.5 billion in federal and state funds earmarked for special projects across the state, up from $120 million last year. Most of this…

Backgrounder

Read More: Fiscal Earmarks Reduce State Budget Transparency

Government Accountability

Pa. Supreme Court Grants Governor Unchecked Emergency Powers

  • Charles Mitchell, Michael Torres
  • July 1, 2020

July 1, 2020, Harrisburg, Pa. — The Pa. Supreme Court ignored the commonwealth’s tradition of checks and balances between branches of government in a ruling on a lawsuit between…

Press Release

Read More: Pa. Supreme Court Grants Governor Unchecked Emergency Powers

Government Accountability

CF Amicus Brief Calls out Wolf for Overstepping his Authority

  • June 25, 2020

Commonwealth Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief in the case of Wolf v. Scarnati et. al.—arguing that the Governor must follow the legislature’s concurrent resolution to end the declaration of…

Testimony

Read More: CF Amicus Brief Calls out Wolf for Overstepping his Authority

Government Accountability

Pa?s unemployment rate down in May, but still at near-record levels

  • Nathan Benefield
  • June 22, 2020

More than 13% of Pennsylvania workers were officially unemployed in May, according to U.S. Department of Labor data released Friday. That’s an improvement from April’s record-setting 15.1% unemployment rate, but still the second highest rate…

Media

Read More: Pa?s unemployment rate down in May, but still at near-record levels

Government Accountability

A Door to Liberation: Why Juneteenth Matters

  • Lenny McAllister
  • June 19, 2020

Juneteenth is a celebration that makes Independence Day a more fulfilled promise across America. The freedom extolled on July 4th, 1776, was robust, even if it took June 19th, 1865,…

Commentary

Read More: A Door to Liberation: Why Juneteenth Matters

Criminal Justice Reform

Pa. Tackles Two New Law Enforcement Reforms

  • Jessica Barnett
  • June 12, 2020

Pennsylvanians are voicing their concern on policing reform. Encouragingly, lawmakers are listening to constituents and pursuing meaningful, balanced policing reform.

Commentary

Read More: Pa. Tackles Two New Law Enforcement Reforms

Government Accountability

Top 10 PLCB Boondoggles

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • June 9, 2020

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has survived debacle after debacle. The closures around COVID-19 are just the most recent example of the PLCB's incompetence. Here are the top 10 PLCB…

Commentary

Read More: Top 10 PLCB Boondoggles

Government Accountability

Fed Data Shows Wolf’s Shutdown Caused Unemployment Spike

  • Michael Torres
  • June 5, 2020

June 5, 2020, Harrisburg, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s shutdown was done earlier, was more expansive, and had fewer exemptions than most other states, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of…

Media

Read More: Fed Data Shows Wolf’s Shutdown Caused Unemployment Spike

Government Accountability

Op-ed: Pennsylvanians Deserve an Apology

  • Nathan Benefield
  • June 4, 2020

Gov. Wolf called local officials, job creators, and workers “cowards” and “deserters” for assessing local risks and daring to think for themselves.

Commentary

Read More: Op-ed: Pennsylvanians Deserve an Apology

Government Accountability

Solutions to Preventing Tax Increases in 2021

  • Nathan Benefield
  • May 26, 2020

Lawmakers can respect the Pennsylvania constitution’s balanced budget amendment and act to prevent tax increases that will drive more families and businesses out of the state, further shrinking the revenue…

Memo

Read More: Solutions to Preventing Tax Increases in 2021

Government Accountability

Slicing Pennsylvania’s Finances, Part 3

  • Andrew Abramczyk
  • May 20, 2020

The state government uses special entities to borrow in excess of the constitutional debt limit and make loans and guarantees that would otherwise be illegal.

Report

Read More: Slicing Pennsylvania’s Finances, Part 3