Higher Education

Third and State This Week: State Budget Framework, Public-Sector Job Losses and Liquor Privatization Stalls

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the $27.65 billion budget framework announced by the governor and legislative leaders, the stalled debate over liquor privatization in Pennsylvania, how public-sector job losses have hurt the broader economy, teacher layoffs in Reading, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Chris Lilienthal highlighted news reports on the $27.65 billion budget framework announced by Governor Tom Corbett and legislative leaders and followed up with a roundup of news reports as budget details began to emerge.
  • Intern Alan Bowie stepped up this week to write Morning Must Reads:
    • On Monday, he highlighted news stories on teacher layoffs in Reading and reining in the sales tax vendor discount.
    • On Tuesday, he summed up a news report on Washington State's experience with liquor privatization and new estimates putting Pennsylvania's June revenue surplus at $100 million.
    • And on Wednesday, he had a roundup that included a look at how public-sector layoffs are hurting the broader economy and news that debate on a liquor privatization bill stalled in the House and will be pushed to the fall.

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

Morning Must Reads: Piecing Together the Budget Framework

Some details emerged Thursday about the state budget framework unveiled midweek by Governor Tom Corbett and legislative leaders, but questions still remain. More details may be available later today when budget spreadsheets are released.

Funding for county human services is one area that appears to be in flux, as some House Republicans continue to voice concerns about a plan to block grant and cut that funding. 

Morning Must Reads: Special Needs Kids, Unemployment Insurance, Student Loan Debt and CEO Pay

Welcome back from the Memorial Day Weekend! The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this morning explores the impact of charter schools on school districts.

The New York Times reports on declining aid to the unemployed.

Morning Must Reads: Training and Education? Let Them Go To The Pittsburgh Opera

When workers lose their jobs in a recession, they have time that could be spent in training programs targeted to the needs of employers. Of course, there is a hitch: during a recession, employers are not hiring, so at the very time there are lots of people available to train, employers don't need new workers. As the economy improves (like it is now), it opens the door to training tied to the needs of businesses that are hiring. 

Third and State This Week: PA Senate Approves Budget, Payday Lending Advances & a Harrisburg Rally

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the Pennsylvania Senate's passage of a budget, movement on a bill to legalize predatory payday lending in the state, a big rally at the state Capitol, analysis of the April jobs report, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward wrote about the Senate's passage of a state budget bill this week that improves upon the Governor's budget but still makes deep cuts to education and health services. Earlier in the week, she had a blog post on the Senate budget when details first emerged. Chris Lilienthal highlighted a Monday rally at the Capitol that brought 700 Pennsylvanians to Harrisburg to call on lawmakers and the Governor to save the General Assistance program and restore cuts proposed to county services for children, the homeless and people with disabilities. Plus, Mark Price blogged about concerns that the state will not spend all the tax revenue it collects, creating a further drag on the economy.
  • On banking, Mark Price blogged about committee approval of a state House bill that would legalize predatory payday lending in Pennsylvania and what that would mean for the state's consumers and economy.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price shared analysis of April's U.S. jobs report.
  • Finally, Mark Price had a roundup of news on the economic impact of state and federal budget cuts, the prospect of higher interest rates on student loans and the geography of manufacturing. 

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

PA Senate Approves Budget, But Deep Cuts Remain

The Pennsylvania Senate approved a $27.6 billion budget plan today by a vote of 39-8. The plan improves upon the budget proposed by Governor Tom Corbett, but deep cuts to education and health services remain.

On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee, in a rare display of bipartisanship, adopted two Democratic amendments and unanimously approved the spending plan.

Morning Must Reads: The Impact of Economic Austerity, Student Loans and the Geography of Manufacturing

The U.S. economy is growing, albeit too slowly to make a substantial and badly needed dent in the unemployment rate. Growth in the U.S. economy will almost certainly mean continued growth in the Pennsylvania economy.

The most important risk to Pennsylvania's job growth in 2012 remains job losses among teachers, nurses and other public servants caused by federal and state budget cuts. 

Let the Games Begin: PA Senate Announces Details of Budget Proposal

Action on the state budget began in earnest Monday with state Senator Jake Corman, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, releasing important details on the Senate budget plan that will be advanced this week.

The proposal would increase Governor Tom Corbett's budget proposal by $500 million, with total spending rising from $27.15 billion to $27.65 billion for 2012-13. The Senate plan rejects $191 million in fund transfers and new revenue and proposes new spending cuts of $165 million. Those spending reductions were not yet detailed.

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