Regulation

Policy Points: Pennsylvania’s Debt Burden

  • June 15, 2017

State and local debt levels have exploded since 2002. When combined with the commonwealth’s unfunded liabilities, total state obligations exceed $17,600 for every Pennsylvania resident.

Fact Sheet

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Criminal Justice Reform

Policy Memo: Principles for State Budget

  • Nathan Benefield
  • June 14, 2017

With the 2017 budget, lawmakers have an opportunity to double down on the idea of reinventing government and adopt meaningful reforms that will save taxpayers money, stimulate economic growth, and improve services…

Memo

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Regulation

Policy Memo: Pension Reform in Pennsylvania

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • June 6, 2017

Pennsylvania’s $71 billion unfunded pension liability is unsustainable for taxpayers and puts public employees at risk. Without timely reform, pension payments will crowd out funding for other services, property taxes will…

Memo

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Regulation

Policy Memo: Pension Reform in Pennsylvania

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • May 26, 2017

Pennsylvania’s $71 billion unfunded pension liability is unsustainable for taxpayers and puts public employees at risk. Without timely reform, pension payments will crowd out funding for other services, property taxes…

Memo

Read More: Policy Memo: Pension Reform in Pennsylvania

Government Accountability

Policy Memo: Government Union Political Spending Trends

  • Jessica Barnett
  • April 19, 2017

Union leaders spend millions each year to further their own political agenda. Regardless of public sector employees’ personal political convictions, the highly partisan trend continued to the tune of $19 million…

Memo

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Government Accountability

Memo on Redistricting Reform

  • March 24, 2017

Commonwealth Foundation supports redistricting reform as a good government practice.

Memo

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Healthcare

Policy Points: After ObamaCare

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • March 13, 2017

Obamacare increased the number of people holding insurance cards but failed to increase access to quality and affordable health services. It’s time to put patients, not government bureaucrats, in charge…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Policy Points: After ObamaCare

Regulation

Policy Memo: The Downside of Raising the Minimum Wage

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • March 6, 2017

In February, Gov. Wolf proposed raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $12, claiming a higher minimum wage will raise revenue, reduce welfare participation and spur job growth. These claims are…

Memo

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Criminal Justice Reform

Embracing Innovation in State Government

  • December 21, 2016

Conventional governing is hampering Pennsylvania’s progress. Growing state budgets combined with one-time revenue transfers and targeted tax hikes are delaying the structural reforms essential to improving the quality…

Fact Sheet

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State Budget

Tracking State Budget Trends

  • December 2, 2016

The 2016-17 General Fund budget added to Pennsylvania’s fiscal challenges. Lawmakers approved the $31.6 billion budget without implementing meaningful reforms or authorizing enough revenue to balance the budget. Despite lacking…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Tracking State Budget Trends

Public Union Democracy

Transforming Labor

  • Priya Brannick
  • November 13, 2016

Executive Summary In the last five years, Americans have seen an unprecedented sweep of public sector labor reforms across several states. Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana—and most recently, West Virginia in…

Report

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Taxes & Economy

How Does Pennsylvania’s Tax Burden Compare?

  • August 25, 2016

Pennsylvania’s tax structure should benefit all Pennsylvanians, not just some. Unfortunately, our state’s stifling tax burden harms residents. Each year, government spending grows, increasing the pressure for higher taxes. These…

Fact Sheet

Read More: How Does Pennsylvania’s Tax Burden Compare?

Government Accountability

School District Labor Contracts: Surprising Provisions

  • August 17, 2016

More than 1.7 million students rely on Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts to meet their diverse educational needs. School boards from each district agree to collective bargaining agreements (labor contracts) with local teachers’…

Memo

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State Budget

Seven Threats to the 2017-18 Budget

  • August 10, 2016

The 2016-17 budget remains unbalanced. Without serious efforts to reduce spending or reform major cost drivers, like public pensions and the sprawling human services system, taxpayers should expect a push…

Memo

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State Budget

An Analysis of the 2016-17 Budget

  • July 18, 2016

On June 30, the legislature passed a $31.6 billion General Fund Budget. Gov. Wolf allowed this budget to become law without his signature on July 12. On July 13, the…

Fact Sheet

Read More: An Analysis of the 2016-17 Budget

Education

School Spending Update, 2014-15

  • James Paul
  • June 8, 2016

Pennsylvania school districts spent approximately $27.4 billion in 2014-15. This represents a $1.3 billion increase from 2013-14, despite a 12,000 student decrease in average daily membership.

Memo

Read More: School Spending Update, 2014-15

Public Union Democracy

Pennsylvania’s Ghost Teachers

  • June 3, 2016

Collective bargaining agreements in many Pennsylvania school districts permit school employees to take a full-time leave of absence from the classroom to perform union work. While on leave doing union work,…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Pennsylvania’s Ghost Teachers