The continued growth in public welfare spending is unsustainable. The federal government is responsible for much of the welfare system, but states can adopt reforms that preserve welfare resources for the most vulnerable. By enacting reforms that promote work and independence, Pennsylvania can right-size state welfare spending and help more Pennsylvanians get back on their feet. Taxpayers deserve a welfare system that compliments a strong economy.

Healthcare

Preserving Medicaid Before It’s Too Late

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • September 24, 2020

Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program is a national leader in all the wrong ways. Sub-standard access to care and soaring enrollment, costs, and fraud crowd out services for people with intellectual disabilities and low-income…

Backgrounder

Read More: Preserving Medicaid Before It’s Too Late

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

Read More: Where Have All the Human Service Dollars Gone?

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

Read More: CF’s 2020 Vision

Taxes & Economy

Feds Restore Foodstamp Rules: Providing a Pathway to Independence

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • December 6, 2019

Pennsylvanians are experiencing the lowest unemployment rates on record and wages are rising, including wages at the lower end of the pay scale. Across the country 16 states have restored…

Media

Read More: Feds Restore Foodstamp Rules: Providing a Pathway to Independence

Regulation

The O-Zone Hole

  • Andrew Abramczyk
  • November 15, 2019

State and national governments sometimes designate “Economic Opportunity Zones,” geographic areas wherein they give tax breaks to incentivize investment. If opportunity zones are such a great idea, though, why not…

Media

Read More: The O-Zone Hole

Healthcare

The Administrative Cost of Community Engagement Requirements in Medicaid

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • October 30, 2019

This is the first in a series of policy briefs looking at the common objections to implementing community engagement requirements, or work expectations, for healthy adults receiving benefits under Medicaid…

Fact Sheet

Read More: The Administrative Cost of Community Engagement Requirements in Medicaid

Taxes & Economy

The Not-So Secret Trick to Raise Kids out of Poverty

  • Andrew Cuff, Elizabeth Stelle
  • October 10, 2019

Innassa, a Pittsburgh native, was a stay-at-home mom for her two sons while her husband worked. Then, he got injured—and three surgeries later, still hasn’t recovered. “He’s talking and can…

Media

Read More: The Not-So Secret Trick to Raise Kids out of Poverty

Healthcare

Sen. Martin Introduces Bill to Protect Safety Net

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • September 5, 2019

Steve Blazer of Surge Staffing is taking an unusual approach to filling hundreds of open warehouse positions: attending job fairs at state prisons. Steve’s struggle to find workers is…

Media

Read More: Sen. Martin Introduces Bill to Protect Safety Net

Taxes & Economy

The Battle Over General Assistance and Our Poverty Problem

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • August 2, 2019

In 2012, lawmakers ended a small cash welfare program called General Assistance. Despite all the recent Democratic hubbub, none of the members actually tried to restart the program through the…

Media

Read More: The Battle Over General Assistance and Our Poverty Problem

Regulation

No More Food Stamps for Millionaires

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • July 31, 2019

Leroy Fick won $2 million playing the Michigan lottery. He bought a new home and a costly car, all while collecting taxpayer-funded food stamps. Fick and stories like his…

Media

Read More: No More Food Stamps for Millionaires

Criminal Justice Reform

Fighting Poverty can be a Bipartisan Effort

  • Nathan Benefield
  • April 12, 2019

Here's a letter I submitted to the Philadelphia Daily News on how Pennsylvanians of any ideology can share good intent, and work toward a common goal. I was disappointed…

Media

Read More: Fighting Poverty can be a Bipartisan Effort

Taxes & Economy

New Evidence Shows Work is the Path to Prosperity

  • Jessica Barnett
  • March 29, 2019

Poverty and unemployment are vicious cycles. The longer you remain unemployed, the harder it is to find work—and poverty becomes more entrenched. As the Urban Institute puts it, “long-term…

Media

Read More: New Evidence Shows Work is the Path to Prosperity

Criminal Justice Reform

Pennsylvania State Budget Trends

  • Nathan Benefield
  • January 22, 2019

On February 5, Governor Wolf will lay out his proposal for the 2019-20 state budget. Here are some key facts on spending trends, last year’s enacted budget, and challenges going…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Pennsylvania State Budget Trends

Criminal Justice Reform

Today’s Opportunities in the Spirit of King

  • Lenny McAllister
  • January 21, 2019

It’s been a shame that we’ve collectively spent so much time this month talking about the wrong King (Rep. Steve King) and views that harken back to our worst…

Media

Read More: Today’s Opportunities in the Spirit of King

Healthcare

Arkansas Latest to Demonstrate Power of Work Over Poverty

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • January 17, 2019

Once again, incomes are rising, tax revenue is up, and welfare enrollment is shrinking thanks to work requirements. A recent analysis from the Foundation for Government Accountability finds Arkansas’s…

Media

Read More: Arkansas Latest to Demonstrate Power of Work Over Poverty

Healthcare

Federal Food Stamp Fix Good Fit for Pa.

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • January 3, 2019

Jobs and money form the foundation of many a New Year’s resolution. Now, due to proposed federal SNAP (food stamp) changes, hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians could experience a brighter…

Media

Read More: Federal Food Stamp Fix Good Fit for Pa.

Taxes & Economy

Trump Administration’s Food Stamp Changes Could Affect 59 Pa. Counties

  • December 20, 2018

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced plans to strengthen existing work requirements for work-capable adults in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps). The rule change…

Press Release

Read More: Trump Administration’s Food Stamp Changes Could Affect 59 Pa. Counties