November 2012 Posts

Third and State Recap: Ed Rendell at PBPC's 5th Anniversary, Promoting Renewable Energy in PA & Lottery Privatization

Over the past two weeks, we blogged about the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center’s 5th Anniversary, how Pennsylvania can be better positioned to capitalize on renewable energy, a proposal to privatize the state’s lottery and the October jobs numbers. Oh, and did we mention, former Governor Ed Rendell in a wig?


  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward reflected on five years of research and advocacy demystifying state budget and tax policies with the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. Chris Lilienthal wrote that at the Center’s 5th Anniversary Luncheon on Friday, former Governor Ed Rendell had a little fun with Sharon when he debuted a new look (yes, a wig is involved).
  • On renewable energy, Stephen Herzenberg explained how Pennsylvania could position itself to be a national leader on wind and solar energy and what that could do for the commonwealth’s economy.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price blogged about the state’s October jobs report and why now would be a good time to invest in fixing infrastructure.
  • On privatization, Mark Price asked (tongue in cheek) what could go wrong with a plan to privatize the Pennsylvania lottery in light of news that the state received only one bid for the job.
  • Finally, Mark Price had a roundup of what awaits state and federal lawmakers in the coming weeks and in 2013.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Governor Ed Rendell in a Moe Wig. For Real.

Gov. Ed Rendell in a wigAt the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's 5th Anniversary luncheon today, former Governor Ed Rendell had a little fun at the expense of Director Sharon Ward. The Philadelphia Daily News' Chris Brennan sums it up nicely below. Click on the photo to the right for a larger view at PBPC's Facebook page.

Imagine...PA Chamber and Conservative Administration LEAD Major New PA Renewable Energy Policy

Posted in:

“This package will send a strong signal to investors that the government is serious about providing firms with the certainty they need to invest in affordable, secure, low-carbon energy,” said Gene Barr, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the state's main business group, in a statement responding to a new measure that would increase the amount of electricity from renewable energy to 30% by 2020, up from 11% today,

OK, it wasn't actually Gene Barr. It was his British counterpart, John Cridland, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, in a story last week about a strong new push for renewable energy by Britain's Conservative-led coalition government (the Liberal Party is the junior partner in Britiain's coalition government).

Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center to Celebrate 5 Years of Making Facts Matter in Policy Debates

This Friday, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center will mark five years of research and advocacy demystifying tax and budget policies, separating truth from myth, and ensuring policy debates are grounded in the facts. 

It's not too late to join the fun. Tickets are still available for PBPC's 5th Anniversary Luncheon this Friday from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the Philadelphia Sheraton.

The event will feature former Gov. Ed Rendell as a keynote speaker, recognize state Representatives Gene DiGirolamo and Thomas Murt for their efforts on behalf of low-income working families, and honor the legal team that won the court case halting enforcement of the state’s flawed Voter ID Law in the November election. More on the lineup of speakers here. 

Morning Must Reads: One Bidder? What Could Go Wrong?

The Keystone Research Center does not oppose the use of private contractors to provide services to federal, state and local governments as a matter of philosophy.

On pragmatic grounds, we DO support good governance, including carefully assessing the costs and benefits of privatization. Too often privatization is a goal in and of itself and good governance — careful weighing of pros and cons — isn't even in the vocabulary of privatization advocates.

Morning Must Reads: Oh Boy, 2013 Here We Come!

I bet many of you miss the last two years a little. Governor Tom Corbett is hoping to capitalize on that nostalgia by promising to focus over the next year on liquor privatization and transportation. That's right, it is time to party like it's November 2010. (Who doesn't fondly remember that era's hits? I still don't know what a G6 is?)

Morning Must Reads: October's Job Numbers and Now Is The Time To Fix Stuff!

Late in the day Friday, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reported that the state's unemployment rate ticked down slightly to 8.1% (the U.S. rate is 7.9%) and nonfarm payrolls grew by 7,500 jobs.

Third and State This Week: Growing Income Inequality, the Budget Outlook and PA's Private-sector Job Performance

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a new report on growing income inequality in Pennsylvania, the latest budget outlook from the Independent Fiscal Office, private-sector job growth and how little bang for the buck you get from tax cuts for top earners.


  • On income inequality, Chris Lilienthal blogged about a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute finding that income gaps widened in Pennsylvania between the late 1990s and the mid-2000s.
  • On the state budget, intern Ben Zurflieh wrote about a report from the Independent Fiscal Office estimating that state expenditures will outpace revenue collections significantly over the next five years.
  • On jobs and the economy, Stephen Herzenberg took a look at private-sector job growth in Pennsylvania to put some context to the claims of state House leaders.
  • And on the federal budget, Chris Lilienthal wrote about a Congressional Budget Office report and analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concluding that the extension of high-income tax cuts would yield little economic growth in 2013.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Modest PA Revenue Growth Won’t Keep Pace with Costs in Years Ahead

By Ben Zurflieh, Intern

Growth in Pennsylvania’s revenue collections over the next five fiscal years is expected to be, in a word, “modest,” according to a five-year economic and budget outlook from the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO). 

At a public briefing Thursday, analysts with the IFO said an aging Pennsylvania population, a slow-growing economy and the further erosion of the state’s corporate tax based are some of the reasons that revenue growth over the next five years is projected to be slow.

Pulling Apart: Income Inequality Has Grown in PA

Income inequality has grown in all parts of the country since the late 1970s, and Pennsylvania has not been immune to the trend, as a new national study out today shows.

A joint effort of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute, the study finds that income gaps widened in Pennsylvania between the late 1990s and the mid-2000s, with earnings for low-income families dropping as the income of the wealthiest continued to rise.