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.

State Budget

2017-18 State Budget & Spending Trends

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • November 26, 2018

Over the next month, CF will recount what happened on major issues in the 2017-18 legislative session and what policies lawmakers need to prioritize in the 2019-20 session to make…

Media

Read More: 2017-18 State Budget & Spending Trends

Government Accountability

It’s Apparent PA’s Not Transparent

  • Jessica Barnett
  • November 20, 2018

Parties and perks on taxpayers' dime was the headline-grabbing news from Pennsylvania's Auditor General investigation of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC). His findings underscore the need for government transparency. The SRBC,…

Media

Read More: It’s Apparent PA’s Not Transparent

State Budget

IFO Projects $1.7 Billion State Budget Deficit in 2019

  • Nathan Benefield
  • November 19, 2018

Last year’s state budget boasted a series of firsts. It was the first budget in four years enacted before the June 30 deadline and represents the only budget Gov.

Media

Read More: IFO Projects $1.7 Billion State Budget Deficit in 2019

Regulation

Corporate Welfare: A Bad Deal for Pennsylvanians

  • October 17, 2018

Hanover company WNS closed its doors for good at the end of September, putting 107 men and women out of work. This news comes just two years after Governor…

Media

Read More: Corporate Welfare: A Bad Deal for Pennsylvanians

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

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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

State Budget

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in Pennsylvania

  • August 14, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provides tax relief to working people across all income levels. Since its passage, more than 660 businesses have announced raises, bonuses, or enhanced retirement benefits…

Fact Sheet

Read More: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in Pennsylvania

Criminal Justice Reform

Spending Trends & Policy Developments Under Gov. Wolf

  • Nathan Benefield
  • July 31, 2018

In the last four years Pennsylvania has experienced rapid state spending growth. On the plus side, constant tax hike proposals have been largely rejected and policies like pension reform, school…

Memo

Read More: Spending Trends & Policy Developments Under Gov. Wolf

Government Accountability

State Budget Bill Packed with $35 Million in Earmarks

  • July 24, 2018

July 24, 2018, Harrisburg, Pa.—Nearly 50 obscurely-worded earmarks are buried in Pennsylvania’s fiscal code—amounting to $35 million in hidden expenses—according to a Commonwealth Foundation analysis. Click here for a searchable…

Press Release

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State Budget

The Tangible Benefits of Tax Reform

  • July 18, 2018

One of the many benefits of federal tax reform kicked in earlier this month in the form of lower utility bills for Pennsylvania residents. Back in May, the Pennsylvania Public…

Media

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Education

School Choice Momentum in Pennsylvania

  • Colleen Hroncich
  • July 5, 2018

The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program established Pennsylvania as a school choice leader when it was introduced in 2001. The program helps thousands of students, but it hasn’t kept…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Bipartisan Support for a Second Chance

  • June 28, 2018

We all deserve a second chance. This is the core principle underlying “clean slate” legislation, which the legislature overwhelmingly approved last week. The measure, House Bill 1419, sponsored by…

Media

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Healthcare

Hidden Human Services Spending

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • June 27, 2018

What’s the main driver of spending in Harrisburg? It’s not education. The main driver of costs is the Department of Human Services, which includes Medicaid, child services, nursing home care…

Media

Read More: Hidden Human Services Spending

State Budget

State Budget 2018: Policy Victories & Missed Opportunities

  • June 26, 2018

With a signed state budget, it’s time to review the policy victories and missed opportunities that define the 2018-19 spending package. Victories Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) expansion: Lawmakers approved…

Media

Read More: State Budget 2018: Policy Victories & Missed Opportunities

Education

House-Passed Spending Plan Holds Line on Taxes

  • June 20, 2018

Today, the Pennsylvania House passed a $32.7 billion 2018-19 spending plan in an overwhelming, bipartisan vote (188-10). The legislation, House Bill 2121, avoids tax increases and pulls back from…

Press Release

Read More: House-Passed Spending Plan Holds Line on Taxes

State Budget

Six Things to Know About Pa. House Budget

  • June 19, 2018

The state budget is on the move. Earlier today the House Appropriations Committee voted to advance a $32.7 billion 2018-19 spending plan to the full House for its consideration. The…

Media

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State Budget

How Lawmakers Can Revive Pa.’s Economy

  • June 18, 2018

A look at job growth and labor force trends over the past few years reveals the Keystone State’s economy to be stagnant or, at best, overshadowed by robust growth in…

Media

Read More: How Lawmakers Can Revive Pa.’s Economy

State Budget

PA Legislature Moves to Protect Taxpayers from Habitual Overspending

  • June 13, 2018

Today, the Senate State Government Committee took a positive step toward putting Pennsylvania’s finances back on solid ground by passing the Taxpayer Protection Act (TPA) or House Bill 110—sponsored…

Press Release

Read More: PA Legislature Moves to Protect Taxpayers from Habitual Overspending

State Budget

Time for Welfare Work Requirements

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • June 13, 2018

Yesterday, welfare work requirement bills HB 2138 and HB 1659 moved out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. This move ensures welfare reform will be a focus…

Media

Read More: Time for Welfare Work Requirements

State Budget

5 Reasons We Need the Taxpayer Protection Act Now

  • June 12, 2018

Gov. Wolf has been pretty optimistic about Pennsylvania’s finances going into budget negotiations for fiscal year 2018-19. Although it’s true the state is not staring down a $2 billion…

Media

Read More: 5 Reasons We Need the Taxpayer Protection Act Now

State Budget

Securing Pa.’s Fiscal Future

  • May 29, 2018

Balancing a budget may come naturally to many Pennsylvania families, but in Harrisburg, it’s an idea that has been recently overlooked. And given the latest federal court decision prohibiting…

Media

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