Governor Shapiro’s First Budget Falls Short
Originally published at RealClearPennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro’s first state budget proposal perpetuates unsustainable spending and fails to address the most promising ideas he put forward during his campaign. For…Read More: Governor Shapiro’s First Budget Falls Short
Pennsylvania’s complex state budget has enabled policymakers to keep taxpayers in the dark when it comes to state spending. Year after year, some elected officials use budget gimmicks to both make the budget appear balanced and to secure their own agendas. Pennsylvanians deserve reforms that bring true transparency to the budgeting process. We must limit spending growth to a sustainable rate, ensuring the state government—like hardworking taxpayers—live within its means.
Wolf Administration’s Disregard for the Law is Hurting Pennsylvanians
Gov. Wolf's refusal to release approval letters for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs is causing needless pain for families, students, schools, and…
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An Inhospitable Tax Increase
Another day, another tax. The newest plan to fill a $2.2 billion budget hole includes a 5 percent increase to the hotel tax, along with a new tax on fireworks and third-party online…
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Four Alternatives to the Warehouse Tax
The latest tax proposal to balance the $2.2 billion budget shortfall is receiving a cool reception. The tax hike under consideration would extend the sales tax to commercial warehouses. The…
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What’s Next for the 2017-18 Budget?
What does the Senate's vote to non-concur mean? How does a conference committee work? How does the credit downgrade affect the budget? Negotiations over the 2017-18 budget have raised interesting…
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Gov. Wolf’s Indefensible Decisions Continue to Hurt Students
Pennsylvania’s successful scholarship programs—the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC)—are in danger once again. The Wolf Administration has delayed the programs’ approval letters, which…
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PLCB Strikes Again!
As lawmakers continue to debate balancing the state budget, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) gave Pennsylvanians yet another reason to privatize the antiquated liquor system. The agency unleashed…
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“Recurring Revenues” Lead to Recurring Pain
The House’s preferred approach to close the state’s $2.2 billion deficit recently came under fire for its reliance on one-time revenue sources rather than recurring revenues, i.e., tax increases. But this…
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The Solution to Pa.’s Credit Downgrade
Pennsylvania’s irresponsible spending increases have taken their toll – and credit rating agencies have taken notice. Following a credit downgrade from Standard & Poor’s Wednesday morning, Pennsylvania’s…
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More Budget Scare Tactics
Gov. Wolf announced on Friday that he will delay $1.7 billion in payments to Medicaid providers (for a week) and to the public school employees' pension fund. The governor cited the General…
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House Lawmakers Vote to Protect Taxpayers
Last night, 103 House lawmakers voted for a no-tax, no-borrowing plan that will balance the state budget once fully implemented. Please take a moment to thank those lawmakers.
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Lawmakers’ Choice: Take from Taxpayers or Rein in Reserves
The path to ending the state budget impasse is becoming increasingly clear. Two plans with competing visions are at the forefront of debate in Harrisburg. The first option is a…
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Ten Facts About the Shadow Budget
Four tax hikes in eight years have failed to solve Pennsylvania’s budget challenges or grow the economy. In contrast, utilizing 13% of reserve funds in the shadow budget…
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Inquirer Hurls Insults While Lawmakers Embrace Budget Solutions
Yesterday, The Philadelphia Inquirer published an editorial (paywall) attacking House Republicans for defending Pennsylvanians against tax increases and working to avoid driving the state deeper into debt. The editorial…
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Debunking the Claims of Gov. Wolf and His Special Interest Allies
A few misconceptions surrounding the House Republicans’ plan to balance the budget need to be corrected. First, the plan would redirect just 14 percent of the $9.3 billion…
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The Numbers behind the Shadow Budget
Yesterday, a group of House Republicans unveiled a proposal to balance the state budget without borrowing or major tax increases. The crux of the plan relies on the use of $1.3…
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House Lawmakers Unveil New Revenue Proposal
Today, a contingent of House Republicans—with the support of House leadership—released a plan to balance the state budget without borrowing or imposing broad-based tax increases. This is a positive development…
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House Plan Taps Shadow Budget Stash to Pay State’s Bills
In a potential breakthrough in the state’s two-month budget stalemate, House Republicans today unveiled a plan to use state government fund surpluses to help balance the budget. The funds in…
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Higher Prices Coming to a State Store Near You
Years of boondoogles and blunders at the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) make for a compelling list of reasons for complete privatization. Now there's another item to add to the…
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Pennsylvania’s Fiscal Irresponsibility Bears Repeating
A critic, responding to my op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, opines that I am repeating the “mantra” that lawmakers should control the growth of spending and avoid job-killing tax…
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Five Facts About the Shadow Budget
Lawmakers should utilize surplus shadow budget funds before raising taxes on working families.
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Treasurer Playing Chicken with State Budget
In a news interview yesterday, State Treasurer Joe Torsella threatened that he won’t allow the state to borrow any more money to pay bills, unless the budget is balanced.
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