Senior Vice President
An Ohio native, Nate holds an undergraduate degree in political science and economics and a master’s degree in public service management from DePaul University in Chicago. He also completed his doctoral studies (ABD) in political science at Loyola University, also in Chicago.
Nate joined the Commonwealth Foundation in 2005. Now as senior vice president, he provides strategic leadership as well as operational oversight spanning policy analysis, government relations, marketing, and communications.
Nate has researched and written extensively on public policy issues including the state budget, public sector labor reform, government spending and taxes, liquor privatization, education, and economic development. Under Nate’s policy leadership, the Commonwealth Foundation’s work on public sector pension law helped drive the bipartisan pension reform of 2017, heralded by the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post as an example for other states to follow.
Nate has testified numerous times before state legislative committees and is often called upon by legislators and members of the media to provide expertise. He is a frequent commentator on both television and radio, and his writings have appeared across the state and nationally in outlets including the Philadelphia Inquirer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Patriot-News, and Weekly Standard.
Nate’s favorite rock song and personal motto are both “Don’t Stop Believin.”
Fiscal Code Protects Kids and Jobs
Today, the Pennsylvania House passed a revised fiscal code, HB 1327, to implement parts of the state budget. The fiscal code explains how revenues will be distributed, including transfers…
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Budget Hostages Finally Freed?
While Wolf released the hostages of the past six months, he made sure he could keep using children as “pressure points” by using his line-item veto to cut $3.1 billion…
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Public Union Democracy
Union Dues Fund New Political Attack Ads
America Works USA launched a new round of political attack ads opposing the latest state budget. These highly misleading ads again talk about “cuts to education.” However, the…
MediaRead More: Union Dues Fund New Political Attack Ads
Is Gov. Wolf Ignoring Credit Rating Agencies?
Last week, Gov. Wolf once again resorted to defending his latest budget vetoes citing the fear of credit rating downgrades. Oddly, he seems to miss that pension reform and…
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Wolf Signs Stop-Gap Budget With Punitive Line-Item Vetoes
This morning, Gov. Tom Wolf signed the state budget on his desk, using his line-item veto (and item-reduction veto) power to cut the spending by more than $6 billion, targeting certain…
MediaRead More: Wolf Signs Stop-Gap Budget With Punitive Line-Item Vetoes
Wolf Misleads About Education “Cuts”
On Christmas Eve, Gov. Tom Wolf posted a blog attacking Republicans and the “extremist” budget now sitting on his desk—which passed the Senate on a bipartisan 33-17 vote. Wolf…
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Senate Passes Budget, Sends to Governor
Things have changed quickly in the Capitol this week. On Monday, we wrote about a potential House vote on an emergency funding bill. That plan was scrapped. Yesterday, we talked…
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Framework Dead, Time for a No-Tax Hike Spending Plan
Despite legislative action this past weekend, a “framework budget” and a looming vote to raise taxes now appear to be off the table. The next step must be to pass…
MediaRead More: Framework Dead, Time for a No-Tax Hike Spending Plan
Santa Claus Budgeting
With Christmas fast approaching, children are busy creating wish lists for Santa Claus. While most kids eventually outgrow a belief in Santa — and realize it’s their family buying their…
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Spending Increases in the “Framework Budget”
As pointed out yesterday, one of the six sticky items in the Pennsylvania budget negotiations is how much taxpayer money to spend. The $30.788 billion “framework budget” passed by…
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Six Unresolved Issues in PA Budget
The PA House is back in session this week, “sorting through hundreds of pages of legislation” related to the state budget. As Bob points out, while passing a…
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With Details, Wolf Budget “Framework” Looks Even Worse
Now that the Pennsylvania Senate has begun passing legislation, taxpayers can finally see what’s in Gov. Wolf’s “framework” for a new budget. Based on the passage of SB 1073 and…
MediaRead More: With Details, Wolf Budget “Framework” Looks Even Worse
Do New Budget Plans Protect Taxpayers?
Details of a proposed budget “framework” are slowly emerging. The Senate has advanced a General Fund spending plan, which seems to have Gov. Wolf’s support, of about $30.79…
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A Brief History of Wolf’s Tax Hikes
Yesterday, the State House of Representatives announced they were moving off the latest Wolf tax hike proposal and onto a new plan that called for less spending and fewer…
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Wolf’s “Pressure” Causes Real Pain
After five months without a state budget, three failed tax hike plans, and two vetoed stop-gap plans, Gov. Wolf refuses to abandon his harmful strategy of holding children, abuse victims,…
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Yet Another Tax Hike Proposal
Details are slowly emerging about a potential fifth tax hike proposal in state budget negotiations. This comes after Gov. Wolf’s most recent plan to raise the state sales tax…
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No One Wants Higher Taxes
The latest reports out of the state Capitol suggest that including a sales tax increase in the budget framework—which we addressed earlier—is off the table. Turns out, lawmakers weren’t too keen on…
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Tax Shifts and Education Spending
As proposals to reduce, reform, or (mostly) eliminate school property taxes continue to be debated in Harrisburg, many readers have asked about our position on a dollar-for-dollar tax shift,…
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How is Property Tax Relief Doled Out?
Among the many questions in a tentative state budget deal is how revenue from the sales tax increase would be distributed. The Associated Press notes this will be…
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Budget Hope on the Horizon?
After nearly five months of gridlock, a new state budget framework was announced this week. At this point, it’s tempting to call any progress on budget agreement a victory, but…
CommentaryRead More: Budget Hope on the Horizon?
Union Political Spending in the 2015 Pennsylvania Elections
The problem isn't that unions give a lot, or even that they dominate political spending. The problem is that government union dues and campaign contributions are collected at taxpayer expense…
MemoRead More: Union Political Spending in the 2015 Pennsylvania Elections