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

Read More: Transforming Labor

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

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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

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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

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Taxes & Economy

Pennsylvanians Flee from High Taxes

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • May 4, 2016

New census figures paint a sobering picture. In 2015 alone, Pennsylvania lost 41,600 residents to other states in net migration. This amounts to one person every 12.5 minutes, nearly…

Memo

Read More: Pennsylvanians Flee from High Taxes

Education

Governor Wolf’s 2015-16 Budget Myths

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • April 13, 2016

Governor Wolf claimed the 2015-16 budget could not be balanced without significant tax hikes. But there are two ways exist to close a budget deficit: raise revenue or cut spending.

Memo

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Education

Education Spending Trends: April 2016

  • James Paul
  • April 11, 2016

Pennsylvania’s FY 2015-16 budget was finalized in late March when Gov. Tom Wolf allowed HB 1801, a supplemental funding bill, to become law. This legislation appropriated an additional $3.1 billion…

Memo

Read More: Education Spending Trends: April 2016

Public Union Democracy

8 Labor Reforms to Protect Public Workers and Taxpayers

  • April 6, 2016

Pennsylvania's labor laws and practices heavily favor union executives at the expense of public employees and taxpayers. To level the playing field, state lawmakers should work to eliminate the host of…

Memo

Read More: 8 Labor Reforms to Protect Public Workers and Taxpayers