Elizabeth Stelle

Director of Policy Analysis

Elizabeth Stelle is the Director of Policy Analysis at the Commonwealth Foundation.

Elizabeth has researched and written on government reform, health care, welfare, energy, and government transparency. Her work has been featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Patriot-News, Philadelphia Inquirer, and a variety of radio and television programs throughout the commonwealth. Elizabeth is a graduate of Grove City College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in history.

A native of Ohio, Elizabeth makes her home in the Pittsburgh area with her husband and four children. She enjoys swimming, traveling to historic landmarks and exploring the moral foundations of capitalism.

Regulation

Senate Prepares New Pension Reform Bill

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • March 16, 2017

The state Senate is preparing to introduce a pension reform bill nearly identical to the compromise bill that fell three House votes short last fall.  Senator Pat Browne and Majority…

Media

Read More: Senate Prepares New Pension Reform Bill

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

Read More: Policy Memo: The Downside of Raising the Minimum Wage

Taxes & Economy

What the Soda Tax Can Teach us About the Budget

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • February 23, 2017

The high costs of Philadelphia's soda tax are mounting by the week. The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting a 30-50 percent drop in beverage sales for some supermarkets and distributors.

Media

Read More: What the Soda Tax Can Teach us About the Budget

Shifting the Budget Paradigm with Five Reforms

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • February 14, 2017

What if, instead of viewing bills as non-negotiable, we actually asked “why” spending keeps rising? From duplicate programs to politically favored businesses to operational redundancies, the cost-drivers in the state…

Commentary

Read More: Shifting the Budget Paradigm with Five Reforms

State Budget

Opportunity Knocks for State Budget Innovation

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • February 2, 2017

“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.” Pennsylvanians should heed these words from author H. Jackson Brown, Jr. in the upcoming budget season. Governor Wolf and key legislative…

Media

Read More: Opportunity Knocks for State Budget Innovation

Top Ten Recipients of Government Union Contributions

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • February 1, 2017

Since 2010, five government unions have contributed $18 million from Political Action Committees. These same unions reported spending $40 million on "political activities and lobbying" using union dues. A significant…

Commentary

Read More: Top Ten Recipients of Government Union Contributions

Healthcare

The Case for Block Granting Medicaid

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • January 31, 2017

Governor Wolf is decrying efforts in Washington to give states more control over Medicaid through a block grant. This will have a devastating impact for many Pennsylvanians, and…

Media

Read More: The Case for Block Granting Medicaid

Healthcare

4 Obamacare Failures & How to Fix Them

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • January 19, 2017

For almost seven years the benefits of Obamacare have been exaggerated and the costs severely underestimated. As repeal efforts gain momentum, many are understandably uncomfortable about another dramatic shift in…

Media

Read More: 4 Obamacare Failures & How to Fix Them

Five Big 2016 Victories Across the States

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • December 29, 2016

We love end-of-year lists. And while you can find boatloads of them across the internet (including our most popular blog posts of the year!), some of the most exciting policy…

Media

Read More: Five Big 2016 Victories Across the States

Taxes & Economy

How to Grow PA’s Economy

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • December 28, 2016

An intimidating budget shortfall this year and next has state leaders calling for a change to the status quo. That is: surging state spending. Governor Wolf is pulling back on corporate…

Media

Read More: How to Grow PA’s Economy

Education

A Christmas Wish List for Pennsylvania

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • December 22, 2016

“No more lives torn apart, and wars would never start, and time would heal all hearts.” You might recognize those words from the ubiquitous-around-the-holidays song, “Grown-Up Christmas List.” Grown up? Sure.

Commentary

Read More: A Christmas Wish List for Pennsylvania

Taxes & Economy

Pennsylvania is Shrinking

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • December 21, 2016

For the first time in 31 years, Pennsylvania's population is shrinking. The Census Bureau reports Pennsylvania’s total population fell by more than 7,600 last year. In state-to-state migration,…

Media

Read More: Pennsylvania is Shrinking

Public Union Democracy

Watch for Sweeping Changes Outside the Beltway

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • December 13, 2016

The political landscape has experienced a seismic shift, and it isn't centered in Washington DC. This past weekend Kyle Peterson of the Wall Street Journal highlighted Pennsylvania and six other…

Media

Read More: Watch for Sweeping Changes Outside the Beltway

Taxes & Economy

No Doubt About it: PA has a Severance Tax

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • December 8, 2016

What do Christmas festivities, a new office building, and a Ford Explorer have in common? They were all paid for with impact fees on natural gas, raising doubts about the necessity of…

Media

Read More: No Doubt About it: PA has a Severance Tax

Education

Hits and Misses from the 2015-16 Legislative Session

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • December 5, 2016

That's a wrap. The 2015-16 legislative session is officially in the history books. Despite a $650 million tax hike, Pennsylvanians have a lot to celebrate from the past two years.

Media

Read More: Hits and Misses from the 2015-16 Legislative Session

Public Union Democracy

Government Unions’ Election Impact

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • November 22, 2016

One can't understate the scope of government unions' financial involvement in some of the key Pennsylvania races this fall. While final campaign finance numbers are still a few weeks away,…

Media

Read More: Government Unions’ Election Impact

Public Union Democracy

The Rust Belt’s Labor Reform Wave

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • November 18, 2016

Lagging job growth, rising taxes and coercive union tactics created an appetite for labor reform throughout Rust Belt states. Transforming Labor, our latest policy report, ranks states on their…

Media

Read More: The Rust Belt’s Labor Reform Wave

Big Budget Deficits Show Need for Big Changes

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • November 16, 2016

Pennsylvania is in a pickle unless lawmakers make fundamental changes. That’s the message of yesterday’s Independent Fiscal Office Economic and Budget Outlook report. Each November the IFO looks at…

Media

Read More: Big Budget Deficits Show Need for Big Changes

Public Union Democracy

A Dramatic Shift in Pennsylvania

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • November 9, 2016

From celebration to soul-searching, post-election analysis is everywhere. While top-of-the-ballot results dominate headlines and your news feed, don’t miss the dramatic shift that occurred last night in Pennsylvania. Republicans achieved…

Media

Read More: A Dramatic Shift in Pennsylvania

Public Union Democracy

Missed Opportunities: Fall Legislative Session

  • Elizabeth Stelle, James Paul
  • November 1, 2016

Three critical bills stalled last week amidst a flurry of last minute legislative activity. Failure to reform pensions, repeal the e-cigarette tax, and prohibit ghost teaching were missed opportunities that…

Media

Read More: Missed Opportunities: Fall Legislative Session