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.

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

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Healthcare

Policy Recommendations to Fight COVID-19 in Pennsylvania

  • March 24, 2020

As Pennsylvania faces its greatest crisis in decades, it is imperative that legislators take the lead and enact key heath care, education, and budget reforms to help Pennsylvania families and small…

Fact Sheet

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Healthcare

No Easy Pass This Year on Cost Overruns

  • Andrew Abramczyk
  • March 3, 2020

Legislators are questioning the administration's chronic overspending habit, but they aren't getting many answers.

Commentary

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Healthcare

Where Have All the Human Service Dollars Gone?

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • February 10, 2020

Nearly half of Pennsylvania's budget goes to human services or welfare. Governor Wolf wants to increase human service spending by $1.4 billion next year. But how well are these programs…

Commentary

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Government Accountability

Lawmakers Send Message to Wolf on Eve of Budget Address

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 3, 2020

February 3, 2020, Harrisburg, Pa. — Today, on the eve of Gov. Wolf’s sixth state budget address, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a much-needed fiscal reform called the…

Press Release

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State Budget

The Road to Better Infrastructure

  • Tirzah Duren
  • January 3, 2020

Anyone who has ever driven on Pennsylvania’s roads knows this state is filled with structurally deficient bridges—3,770 to be exact—and that the skill of artfully swerving around potholes is essential…

Commentary

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State Budget

Mid-Year Budget Briefing: $779 Million Projected Overspend

  • Andrew Abramczyk
  • January 2, 2020

This week is the midpoint of the commonwealth fiscal year, which ends on June 30. Every year, as required by law, the Office of the Budget gives a mid-year budget briefing…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

CF’s 2020 Vision

  • January 1, 2020

The Commonwealth Foundation’s mission sounds pretty simple: transform free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish. Accomplishing that mission—with a divided government, powerful special interests, and a diverse…

Media

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Government Accountability

How to Make an Easy Six Million

  • Andrew Abramczyk
  • December 10, 2019

A week ago the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office announced charges against Wing Tat Chiu and Ivy Hiu-Ying Li, a married couple whom they accuse of earning $6 million in illegal…

Media

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Regulation

Economic Freedom and Flourishing in Pennsylvania

  • Tirzah Duren
  • November 25, 2019

We live in a free country, but when it comes to our economy, Pennsylvanians aren’t free. Unpredictable regulation makes owning a business a huge risk in Pennsylvania, and when it…

Media

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State Budget

It Won’t Get Easier: Our Take on the State’s Five Year Outlook

  • Andrew Abramczyk
  • November 18, 2019

Last week the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) presented its annual set of fiscal and economic projections for the next five years. The full report and summary presentation are available…

Media

Read More: It Won’t Get Easier: Our Take on the State’s Five Year Outlook

State Budget

Pennsylvania Needs the Ramsey Method

  • Tirzah Duren
  • November 12, 2019

High debt, reckless spending, and impending financial ruin. That description fits both Pennsylvania and budget guru Dave Ramsey’s life before he achieved financial stability. The Ramsey method has helped millions of…

Media

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State Budget

Slicing Pennsylvania’s Finances, Part 2

  • Andrew Abramczyk
  • October 28, 2019

The state legislature controls less than half of all state revenue. The rest is on autopilot, flowing automatically through a maze of accounts and undermining the constituional plan for accountabilty…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Slicing Pennsylvania’s Finances, Part 2

Regulation

Good Returns Won’t Close the Gap

  • Andrew Abramczyk
  • October 9, 2019

The state teachers’ pension fund, PSERS, just reported a 6.7% return over the past twelve months. That is a very good investment return. Sadly, when starting from a deep…

Media

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Regulation

Pensions and Pa’s Poor Fiscal Health

  • October 4, 2019

Pennsylvania recently underwent a “fiscal physical’ and didn’t exactly come out with a clean bill of health. Truth in Accounting, an economic think tank, recently released its report on the…

Media

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State Budget

Soda Taxes Target the Poor

  • Tirzah Duren
  • October 4, 2019

Soda may not be on the list of Seven Deadly Sins but try telling that to lawmakers in Philadelphia. On January 1, 2017, the city instituted a tax of 1.5…

Media

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