Many Pennsylvanians face chronic unemployment, welfare dependency, and the cycle of poverty. This happens because labor incentives have been overridden by bad policies that keep millions out of the workforce and enact excessive red tape. We can reverse this trend by ending the practice of waiving work requirements on able-bodied Pennsylvanians with no dependents, removing barriers to employment for those seeking a fresh start, and creating a healthcare system without burdensome regulations.

Taxes & Economy

Bureaucrats are Keeping Pennsylvanians Dependent on Food Stamps

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • December 13, 2018

Great things are happening in our economy, including more job opportunities and rising incomes. Yet, Pennsylvania is continuing to see near-record food stamp enrollment. The Census Bureau's newly-released American…

Media

Read More: Bureaucrats are Keeping Pennsylvanians Dependent on Food Stamps

Healthcare

Four Ways Pa. Lawmakers Can Reduce the Cost of Health Care

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • December 6, 2018

Bureaucracy just makes things worse. Case in point: Obamacare. Pennsylvanians have faced soaring health care costs and far fewer options ever since the law was passed.   Thankfully, a…

Media

Read More: Four Ways Pa. Lawmakers Can Reduce the Cost of Health Care

Healthcare

Welfare Program Restarts with No Proof of Poverty Alleviation & No Budget

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • December 3, 2018

After a six-year hiatus, Pennsylvania's General Assistance program is back in operation…without a budget. The Wolf administration's unilateral decision to resurrect a program, without identifying a funding source, is symbolic…

Media

Read More: Welfare Program Restarts with No Proof of Poverty Alleviation & No Budget

Criminal Justice Reform

One Policy Where Trump and Wolf Agree

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • November 16, 2018

President Trump and Gov. Tom Wolf agree: minimum sentencing laws are counterproductive. Last Wednesday, President Trump announced his support of the FIRST STEP Act. The bill gives federal judges more…

Media

Read More: One Policy Where Trump and Wolf Agree

Healthcare

What Do Lower Exchange Premiums Mean?

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • November 2, 2018

For the first time in the history of the Affordable Care Act, exchange premiums are decreasing in Pennsylvania. Insurance Commissioner Altman announced an aggregate average decrease of 2.3 percent…

Media

Read More: What Do Lower Exchange Premiums Mean?

Criminal Justice Reform

Three Bills to Help Vulnerable Pennsylvanians Await Signature

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • October 22, 2018

Last week we celebrated passage of a transformative welfare reform bill, which Governor Wolf vetoed late Friday afternoon. But it wasn't the only good policy that cleared both chambers…

Media

Read More: Three Bills to Help Vulnerable Pennsylvanians Await Signature

Healthcare

Wolf Vetoes Opportunity for Healthy Adults to Escape Poverty

  • October 19, 2018

October 19, 2018, Harrisburg, Pa.—Late this afternoon, Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed HB 2138, a bold anti-poverty bill aimed at helping Pennsylvanians achieve independence. The legislation would have incentivized healthy,…

Press Release

Read More: Wolf Vetoes Opportunity for Healthy Adults to Escape Poverty

Criminal Justice Reform

A Victory for Fairness and Work

  • October 18, 2018

The General Assembly overwhelming passed House Bill 163 last night—an important win for people who believe in fair punishments and work as a means to independence. The legislation,…

Media

Read More: A Victory for Fairness and Work

Healthcare

Pa. Legislature Sends Landmark Anti-Poverty Reform to Gov. Wolf

  • October 18, 2018

October 17, 2018, Harrisburg, Pa.—Today, the Pennsylvania Legislature sent a landmark anti-poverty bill to Governor Wolf’s desk. HB 2138 will help healthy, childless adults enrolled in Medicaid move from…

Press Release

Read More: Pa. Legislature Sends Landmark Anti-Poverty Reform to Gov. Wolf

Criminal Justice Reform

Pennsylvania’s Financial Condition? Critical

  • October 16, 2018

Despite what you may have heard, Pennsylvania’s fiscal troubles haven’t disappeared. The recent state budget did not address the commonwealth’s short- or long-term financial challenges. It merely papered over them.

Media

Read More: Pennsylvania’s Financial Condition? Critical

Welfare

Welfare Reform is On the Cusp

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • October 16, 2018

Major welfare reform is nearing the governor’s desk. Three bills, two in the Senate and one in House, contain significant improvements to our human service programs. SB 6 protects…

Media

Read More: Welfare Reform is On the Cusp

Criminal Justice Reform

Unlocking Pennsylvanians’ Potential

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • October 11, 2018

Pennsylvania’s poverty rate remains far too high. Employers can’t find workers with technical skills, and the commonwealth continues to lead the northeast in incarcerating our citizens. One organization is…

Media

Read More: Unlocking Pennsylvanians’ Potential

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

Criminal Justice Reform

Philadelphia Forced to Reform Unjust Confiscation

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • September 21, 2018

Four years ago we told you the story of Markela and Chris Sourovelis, Philadelphians who lost their home when their son committed a minor drug crime thanks to an…

Media

Read More: Philadelphia Forced to Reform Unjust Confiscation

Criminal Justice Reform

Safe and Smart: Restructuring Pa.’s Probation System

  • September 13, 2018

CF’s newest policy brief, Safer Communities, Smarter Spending, provides a unique look at the problems in Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system. The commonwealth’s incarceration rate is too high. Its supervision…

Media

Read More: Safe and Smart: Restructuring Pa.’s Probation System

Criminal Justice Reform

Safer Communities, Smarter Spending

  • September 11, 2018

About 95 percent of those confined to state prison will eventually re-enter society. This is why reformers must focus attention on reducing recidivism and balance "tough on crime" practices of the past…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Safer Communities, Smarter Spending

State Budget

Refocus on Government Assistance that Transforms Lives for Good

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • August 20, 2018

Six years ago, the Pennsylvania legislature ended the General Assistance program, a monthly cash benefit to disabled adults. In that same bill, Pennsylvania strengthened food stamp work requirements (later rolled…

Media

Read More: Refocus on Government Assistance that Transforms Lives for Good

Criminal Justice Reform

Removing Barriers to Work for Ex-Offenders

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • August 15, 2018

Pennsylvania has a 3-year recidivism rate of nearly 61 percent. Research shows one of the most critical components of successful re-entry is a job. But for 255…

Memo

Read More: Removing Barriers to Work for Ex-Offenders