Every family, business owner, and taxpayer in Pennsylvania should be able to increase their financial security without undue interference from our state government. Free-market policies that limit taxes, allow entrepreneurs to innovate and create jobs, and offer stability to families will put our state on track to become a national leader. Policies that enact spending limits, cut taxes, and reduce regulations will help Pennsylvania avoid debt and restore sound fiscal planning that will benefit citizens in the years to come.

Taxes & Economy

Consequences of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • September 1, 2021

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a controversial compact designed to tax electricity producers for emitting carbon. The Wolf administration is attempting to join the initiative through regulation in…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Consequences of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

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

State Budget

TEL-Tale Heart: Crafting Effective Policies to Reduce Spending

  • Tirzah Duren
  • July 12, 2021

Executive Summary Increases in state spending do not result in greater prosperity for state residents, across an array of measures. In fact, increased state spending can reduce economic growth. Reducing…

Report

Read More: TEL-Tale Heart: Crafting Effective Policies to Reduce Spending

State Budget

2021 Budget Takeaways

  • Nathan Benefield
  • June 29, 2021

Last week, the Pa. General Assembly passed a state budget deal that includes $40 billion in the General Fund budget, increases in tax credit scholarships, and a number of policy…

Fact Sheet

Read More: 2021 Budget Takeaways

Education

Excellence in Education for All Act Summary

  • Colleen Hroncich
  • June 17, 2021

What is the Excellence in Education for All Act? The Excellence in Education for All Act (Senate Bill 1) is an exciting bill that seeks to ensure more Pennsylvania…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Excellence in Education for All Act Summary

Education

Are Pa. Public Schools Underfunded?

  • Colleen Hroncich
  • May 24, 2021

Pennsylvania spends more per student than the vast majority of states. Education spending has significantly increased over the past decade. Scroll down to see how much funding your district receives…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Are Pa. Public Schools Underfunded?

State Budget

Pennsylvania COVID-19 Relief Funds

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • May 19, 2021

During the pandemic, Pennsylvania directed more funding to closed schools than to health care.

Fact Sheet

Read More: Pennsylvania COVID-19 Relief Funds

State Budget

Reinvigorating Pennsylvania with One-time American Rescue Plan Funds

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • May 18, 2021

Pennsylvania’s chronic overspending, mediocre tax structure, and high regulatory burden are limiting growth and investment. We must pass reforms in these areas to make our economy healthier and more dynamic.

Fact Sheet

Read More: Reinvigorating Pennsylvania with One-time American Rescue Plan Funds

State Budget

Clear the Red Tape to Rebuild a Stronger Pennsylvania

  • Tirzah Duren
  • April 27, 2021

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Wolf repealed regulations to allow our healthcare sector to respond to the evolving crisis. Nonmedical regulatory restrictions—such as permitting cocktails to-go—were also…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Clear the Red Tape to Rebuild a Stronger Pennsylvania

State Budget

Supplemental Appropriations

  • Tirzah Duren
  • March 24, 2021

Supplemental appropriation is another term for overspending. In theory, this practice covers unforeseeable expenses, but it has become a normal part of the state budget process.

Fact Sheet

Read More: Supplemental Appropriations

State Budget

Opportunity Finds a Way

  • Marc LeBlond
  • March 11, 2021

The 2018-19 budget increased EITC by $25 million, providing an additional 8,000 student scholarships. Each child deserves an exceptional education—one that fits their unique gifts and talents. Parents should have…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Opportunity Finds a Way

State Budget

Gov. Wolf’s Budget Plan & Working Families

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • February 23, 2021

Chairman Causer and members of the House Majority Policy Committee, thank you for inviting the Commonwealth Foundation to testify on the impact of Governor Wolf’s budget proposal. My name is…

Testimony

Read More: Gov. Wolf’s Budget Plan & Working Families

State Budget

Wolf’s Big, Bad Budget Leaves Families Behind

  • Michael Torres
  • February 3, 2021

Feb. 3, 2021, Harrisburg, Pa. —Following Gov. Tom Wolf’s pre-recorded state budget address, Commonwealth Foundation Vice President Nathan Benefield, who has been studying the state budget for more than a…

Press Release

Read More: Wolf’s Big, Bad Budget Leaves Families Behind

State Budget

Three Takeaways on Gov. Wolf’s 2021 Budget

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 3, 2021

Our commonwealth faces a structural budget deficit. Families need education lifelines to get back on track. Small businesses need regulatory and tax relief to stay afloat. Patients need more options to access care.

Commentary

Read More: Three Takeaways on Gov. Wolf’s 2021 Budget

State Budget

The Taxpayer Protection Act

  • Tirzah Duren
  • January 21, 2021

KEY POINTS Pennsylvania’s frequent budget deficits are the consequence of chronic overspending. Pennsylvanians pay $4,589 per person in state and local taxes, which equals 10.2 percent of residents’ total…

Backgrounder

Read More: The Taxpayer Protection Act

Taxes & Economy

Crucial Reforms Needed in End-of-Year Budget

  • Nathan Benefield
  • November 19, 2020

The recently completed state budget will dig Pennsylvania into a deep hole. Lawmakers passed a 7.5% increase in spending. The General Fund budget, including billions in one-time federal funds, is $36.54 billion—up from $33.98 billion last…

Media

Read More: Crucial Reforms Needed in End-of-Year Budget

State Budget

Balancing the State Budget Didn’t Have to Be This Hard

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • November 12, 2020

If lawmakers had enacted the Taxpayer Protection Act in 2018, they would face a $770 million gap between revenues and spending. Going one step further, if lawmakers had enacted the…

Commentary

Read More: Balancing the State Budget Didn’t Have to Be This Hard

State Budget

How to Balance the State Budget without Raising Taxes in a Pandemic

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • November 6, 2020

Reducing spending to reflect how the pandemic impacted state agencies and balance the budget without tax hikes or borrowing is the first step. Without additional structural spending changes laid out in…

Backgrounder

Read More: How to Balance the State Budget without Raising Taxes in a Pandemic