And Then What? Reforms Beyond the Current Budget
In any case, the budget will get balanced. For Pennsylvanians, the real question is: “And then what?” Pennsylvania’s budget problems preceded the virus shutdown and will continue long after it without real reform. Listed below are areas where lawmakers…
BackgrounderRead More: And Then What? Reforms Beyond the Current Budget
How to Balance the Budget: Revenue Options
Pennsylvania’s partial-year budget to fund the government through November relied on federal emergency aid to patch a prospective deficit. The state cannot count on such extra resources in the future.
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Marijuana Money Can’t Fix the Budget
The dollars involved are small and legalization would create new expenses.
MemoRead More: Marijuana Money Can’t Fix the Budget
Taxes & Economy
Wolf Takes More Federal Money, Complains About It
Governor Wolf is focused more on wrangling over unemployment aid than lowering unemployment.
CommentaryRead More: Wolf Takes More Federal Money, Complains About It
Wine Distributors Sue the Liquor Control Board
The PLCB ignored the law for years by refusing to permit direct delivery. A judge may finally force them.
CommentaryRead More: Wine Distributors Sue the Liquor Control Board
Strange Budget for Strange Times: 2020-2021 State Budget Overview
State assembly funds the government through November with a budget chock full of federal aid. …
MemoRead More: Strange Budget for Strange Times: 2020-2021 State Budget Overview
Slicing Pennsylvania’s Finances, Part 3
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.
ReportRead More: Slicing Pennsylvania’s Finances, Part 3
Taxes & Economy
Pennsylvania Turnpike Blues
A sudden drop in traffic has exposed the toll road's reckless debt load.
CommentaryRead More: Pennsylvania Turnpike Blues
Taxes & Economy
Aid Pays More Than Work, Predictable Results Ensue
This is not how a safety net is supposed to work.
CommentaryRead More: Aid Pays More Than Work, Predictable Results Ensue
Op-Ed: Coronavirus Crackdown Exposes Failing Government Liquor Monopoly
The state liquor monopoly, not the coronavirus, caused the present alcohol shortage. Now is the time to push for changes.
CommentaryRead More: Op-Ed: Coronavirus Crackdown Exposes Failing Government Liquor Monopoly
Taxes & Economy
State Unemployment Fund Returns to Crisis
The unemployment insurance fund was neither properly replenished nor reformed after running out of money in 2008. It is about to run out of money again. …
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Slots for Scholars?
Use of gambling revenue to fund colleges is both economically and morally questionable.
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No Easy Pass This Year on Cost Overruns
Legislators are questioning the administration's chronic overspending habit, but they aren't getting many answers.
CommentaryRead More: No Easy Pass This Year on Cost Overruns
State System Error: Proposed Scholarship Program is a Bailout
Governor Wolf's scholarship plan is a disguised bailout for the financially distressed State System colleges.
CommentaryRead More: State System Error: Proposed Scholarship Program is a Bailout
Three Steps to an Honest Budget: Fiscal Reform Priorities 2020-2021
Our legislative roadmap to a balanced budget, a spending limit and a more transparent fiscal process.
Fact SheetRead More: Three Steps to an Honest Budget: Fiscal Reform Priorities 2020-2021
Mid-Year Budget Briefing: $779 Million Projected Overspend
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…
MediaRead More: Mid-Year Budget Briefing: $779 Million Projected Overspend
Pension Pacman Must Be Stopped
Next fiscal year Pennsylvania school districts will pay $4.9 billion into PSERS, the state teachers’ pension fund.1 Less than one quarter of that amount will fund new benefits earned by…
MediaRead More: Pension Pacman Must Be Stopped
How to Make an Easy Six Million
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…
MediaRead More: How to Make an Easy Six Million
It Won’t Get Easier: Our Take on the State’s Five Year Outlook
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…
MediaRead More: It Won’t Get Easier: Our Take on the State’s Five Year Outlook
The O-Zone Hole
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…
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Slicing Pennsylvania’s Finances, Part 2
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 SheetRead More: Slicing Pennsylvania’s Finances, Part 2