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.

2024 state budget resources

Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal Justice Reforms Continue to Benefit Pennsylvanians

  • January 23, 2018

Pennsylvania’s bipartisan criminal justice efforts are continuing to pay dividends. According to statistics released by the Department of Corrections (DOC), the state’s prison population fell by 863 inmates—the…

Media

Read More: Criminal Justice Reforms Continue to Benefit Pennsylvanians

Regulation

Public Employee Compensation Reaches $100k

  • January 3, 2018

This post was updated to reflect a change in private sector compensation. For the first time in Pennsylvania’s history, the average cost of a state employee exceeds $100,000, according…

Media

Read More: Public Employee Compensation Reaches $100k

State Budget

Has the Wolf Administration Cured Pennsylvania’s Budget Ills?

  • December 15, 2017

Secretary of the Budget Randy Albright gave a surprisingly upbeat mid-year budget briefing yesterday. According to the state’s budget office, Pennsylvania’s structural deficit is virtually gone. Yet, reason…

Media

Read More: Has the Wolf Administration Cured Pennsylvania’s Budget Ills?

State Budget

Moving Toward a Better Budget Process

  • December 11, 2017

Pennsylvania received a bit of good news from Fitch Ratings last week, as the agency affirmed the commonwealth’s credit rating. However, the state’s outlook remains negative. A downgrade is…

Media

Read More: Moving Toward a Better Budget Process

Government Accountability

Overhauling Pennsylvania’s Budget Practices

  • December 11, 2017

Pennsylvania’s broken budget process hurts working Pennsylvanians. In the last two years, the state legislature passed spending packages, which Gov. Wolf allowed to become law without his signature, before authorizing…

Memo

Read More: Overhauling Pennsylvania’s Budget Practices

Regulation

Shocking Pensions a Reminder that we Need More Reform

  • December 1, 2017

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently published an article detailing the $100,000+ pension payouts for 500 retired state employees—a jarring reminder that Pennsylvania’s state retirement system…

Media

Read More: Shocking Pensions a Reminder that we Need More Reform

State Budget

A Brief History of Tom Wolf’s Tax Hike Proposals

  • November 30, 2017

Since taking office, Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed or supported 10 tax hikes on working families. Lawmakers worked with Wolf to raise taxes in two of the past three years.

Memo

Read More: A Brief History of Tom Wolf’s Tax Hike Proposals

Government Accountability

A Step Towards Smarter Spending

  • November 29, 2017

The governor and state lawmakers are taking a step towards tackling our spending problem. On Tuesday a bicameral group of state lawmakers introduced a zero-based budgeting bill. This proposal would…

Media

Read More: A Step Towards Smarter Spending

State Budget

Promising Budget Reforms on the Horizon

  • November 29, 2017

Pennsylvania’s latest budget impasse exposed a dysfunctional state budget process. Several members of the House of Representatives have introduced a package of reforms to correct the myriad of problems contributing to…

Media

Read More: Promising Budget Reforms on the Horizon

State Budget

PA’s Fiscal Predicament in 5 Charts

  • November 28, 2017

Pennsylvania is in poor financial shape and staring down a consequential demographic shift. Check out the 5 charts below for more on the challenges facing our state and the…

Media

Read More: PA’s Fiscal Predicament in 5 Charts

State Budget

New Budget Report Demands Urgent Action

  • November 16, 2017

By 2023, the state deficit could reach more than $2 billion. By 2030, Pennsylvania will have just 2.4 workers for every 1 person of retirement age. These were some of the most…

Media

Read More: New Budget Report Demands Urgent Action

Regulation

PLCB Borrowing Panned, Time to Privatize

  • Colleen Hroncich
  • November 15, 2017

There hasn’t been much to praise in this year’s budget battles. However, the governor’s announcement that he won’t try to borrow $1.25 billion against Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB)…

Media

Read More: PLCB Borrowing Panned, Time to Privatize

State Budget

Pennsylvania’s Sin Tax Addiction

  • November 14, 2017

Pennsylvania’s excess of excise—or so-called “sin”—taxes was the subject of a recent story in The Philadelphia Inquirer. The piece focused on the amount working people pay in taxes on…

Media

Read More: Pennsylvania’s Sin Tax Addiction

State Budget

What’s on the November Ballot: Property Taxes and Judges

  • November 1, 2017

In addition to several statewide judicial races, the upcoming November election includes a ballot measure that could change the way Pennsylvanians pay taxes or make no difference at all. Judicial Races…

Media

Read More: What’s on the November Ballot: Property Taxes and Judges

Regulation

Progress and Setbacks in the 2017-18 Budget

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • October 30, 2017

Pennsylvania’s four-month budget battle is just about over, thanks to an assortment of targeted tax hikes and fee increases along with borrowing and one-time transfers. However, lawmakers and the governor…

Media

Read More: Progress and Setbacks in the 2017-18 Budget

State Budget

Debt Ahead, but Reform Is Coming, Too

  • October 25, 2017

The General Assembly is on the verge of authorizing HB 785, which could add more than $1.2 billion to the state’s debt load. The legislation would amend the Capital…

Media

Read More: Debt Ahead, but Reform Is Coming, Too

State Budget

Gov. Wolf’s Borrowing Schemes Won’t Work

  • October 25, 2017

Gov. Wolf’s careless decision to overspend last year has played a significant role in this latest budget impasse. Frustrated with the pace of the process, the governor decided to…

Media

Read More: Gov. Wolf’s Borrowing Schemes Won’t Work

State Budget

Pennsylvania Needs (Tax) Climate Change

  • October 19, 2017

What does it take to be #26? The Tax Foundation has the answer. The independent tax policy group released its latest State Business Climate Tax Index, which ranks each…

Media

Read More: Pennsylvania Needs (Tax) Climate Change

State Budget

What’s in the Latest House Revenue Plan

  • October 18, 2017

The state House approved another revenue plan late last night, potentially signaling an end to the 2017-18 budget negotiations. The bill, HB 542, would allow the commonwealth to…

Media

Read More: What’s in the Latest House Revenue Plan

Regulation

How Should Pennsylvania Attract Amazon?

  • Nathan Benefield
  • October 17, 2017

Amazon has been dominating Pennsylvania business news since announcing its interest in creating a second U.S. headquarters (HQ2). Several regions of the state are expected to contend for this new…

Media

Read More: How Should Pennsylvania Attract Amazon?

Regulation

Liquor Store Loan? Don’t Bank on It

  • Nathan Benefield
  • October 16, 2017

Gov. Wolf’s plan to borrow more than $1 billion against PLCB revenue to balance the budget makes little sense. Under Wolf’s plan to “monetize” our liquor system, the state’s General…

Commentary

Read More: Liquor Store Loan? Don’t Bank on It