Human Services

PA Study Finds Nonprofits Aren't Getting Rich Off the Public Dollar

On April 16, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) quickly and quietly disposed of a study of the salaries of nonprofit and for-profit human service providers.

Third and State This Week: A Call to Close Loopholes on Tax Day, Pensions and Latest PA Job Numbers

This week at Third and State, we marked Tax Day by blogging about where our tax dollars go and why Pennsylvania should close corporate tax loopholes. We also wrote about our analysis of the Governor's corporate tax cut plan, our latest Pension Primer, and the Pennsylvania job numbers for March. Plus, a radio podcast on the state of the American economy that featured Mark Price.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On Tax Day, Chris Lilienthal highlighted infographics and other resources showing you where your state and federal tax dollars go. Sharon Ward shared her Harrisburg Patriot-News op-ed calling on state lawmakers to close loopholes and get Pennsylvania's fiscal house in order before considering new tax cuts. Finally, Kate Atkins shared photos from a Tax Day event in Harrisburg where volunteers made a call to close loopholes.
  • On state budget and taxes, Michael Wood wrote about Governor Corbett's plan to cut corporate tax rates by 30% over a decade. Noticeably absent from the plan is any effort to close corporate tax loopholes that have drained resources from schools, universities, and county human services.
  • On pensions, Stephen Herzenberg blogged that Governor Corbett's pension plan has a serious case of pension deficit disorder — if enacted, it will increase the state's pension debt by $5 billion between now and 2019..
  • On jobs and unemployment, Chris Lilienthal passed on a news report on the March job numbers for Pennsylvania. Mark Price shared a podcast of a Minnesota Public Radio show where he and journalist Heidi Moore discussed jobs and the state of the American economy.

IN OTHER NEWS:

  • The Keystone Research Center released the fourth installment in its Pension Primer series this week. You can read all the Pension Primers and Stephen Herzenberg's testimony before the Pennsylvania State House Government Committee at KRC's Pensions Issue Page.
  • Read the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's full analysis of the Governor's proposal to enact costly new business tax cuts in the years ahead.
  • Read PBPC's statement opposing House legislation that creates tax breaks to subsidize new markets for natural gas producers at the expense of schools and other priorities.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:

  • Join Steve Herzenberg of the Keystone Research Center on April 30 for a "Pensions 101" webinar. If you have wondered what is fact and what is fiction in the pension debate, and how to respond to it, this webinar is for you.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

  • Learn more about the federal opportunity to expand health coverage in Pennsylvania at PBPC's Medicaid Expansion Resource Page.
  • Learn more about education in Pennsylvania at PBPC's Education Facts Page with data on student enrollment, education funding, and school poverty.

On Tax Day, Understanding Where Our Tax Dollars Go

With the deadline upon us for filing state and federal tax returns, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has put together a resource web page to help you understand what your tax dollars support. We also highlight reports and educational materials on closing tax loopholes and improving overall tax fairness.

As the chart to the right shows, most of the federal budget supports defense, Social Security and major health programs. As federal policymakers and citizens weigh key decisions about revenues and expenditures, it is instructive to examine what the federal government does with the money it collects. The chart is from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Public investments by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania educate our children, keep our communities safe, move people to work over roads and transit systems, and care for seniors, children and people with disabilities. More than 80 cents of every state General Fund dollar is spent on education, health and human services, or public safety. See the graphic below detailing General Fund spending in 2012-13.

Pennsylvania Could Lose Billions Under Ryan Budget

Federal Medicaid and CHIP Funding Cut by 31% Under Ryan Block Grant in 2023Federal deficit reduction should not fall squarely on the backs of low-income and middle-class families. Yet that is exactly what happens in the budget plan approved last week by the U.S. House of Representatives.

That plan, authored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, cuts critical federal funding for Pennsylvania's schools, health care, clean water, law enforcement, and other key services, while providing big new tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest individuals.

Third and State This Week: The Governor's Budget Proposal and More

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the Governor's proposed 2013-14 budget, which does little to undo the damage done by the deep cuts to education and health care enacted during his first two years in office. Plus a look at lost Postal Service jobs in Pennsylvania, as news comes that Saturday mail delivery will be ending.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward shared the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's statement on the Governor's proposed budget, her pre-budget op-ed in The Philadelphia Inquirer outlining what the budget should look like, and her post-budget op-ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette analyzing the Governor's proposal.
  • On education, Kate Atkins posted infographics showing the proposed budget does little to reverse cuts to public schools and higher education.
  • And on jobs and the economy, Mark Price blogged about a 21% decline in Postal Service employment in Pennsylvania since 2007, as news comes that Saturday mail delivery is coming to an end.
IN OTHER NEWS:
  • Read the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's detailed analysis of the Governor's 2013-14 budget proposal.

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

Governor's Budget Does Little to Undo Damage of Last Two Years

In case you missed the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's media statement on Governor Corbett's 2013-14 budget proposal this week, I pass it on to you below. It provides a nice overview of the various components of the Governor's budget. If you want more specifics, read our detailed 13-page budget analysis here.

Third and State This Week: The October No Surprise, Sizing Up Service Cuts, and Small Biz Owners Say End Top Tax Cuts

This week at Third and State, we blogged about U.S. job growth in October and what it means, how human service cuts are impacting the lives of Pennsylvanians, a poll showing a majority of small business owners support ending tax cuts for top earners, and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price blogged about today's jobs report from the federal government signaling U.S. employment growth is back on track. Mark also delved further into the recent claim of a state official that the Marcellus Shale industry is bringing a "tsunami of jobs" to Pennsylvania.
  • On the state budget, Kate Atkins recapped a recent forum in Montgomery County where speakers testified to the importance of investing in prevention and community supports for people struggling with mental illness or substance abuse.
  • On federal budget and taxes, Chris Lilienthal blogged about a new poll finding that a majority of small business owners support ending the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% of earners. We also previewed a forum at Dickinson College in Carlisle next week featuring economist Dean Baker talking about the federal fiscal cliff.
  • And on voter ID, Jamar Thrasher wrote about advocates' concerns that ads in Pennsylvania are providing misleading information about voter ID in the upcoming election.

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

Not Exactly a Mahogany-paneled Corporate Boardroom

Montgomery County Budget ForumA hundred days after passage of the state budget, it is too soon to fully assess the impact of cuts to human services, Montgomery County's administrator for behavioral health and developmental disabilities told a group of 50 consumers and social service providers at a budget forum last week.

Still, Administrator Eric Goldstein told the forum at the Norristown Recovery and Education Center that he has concerns about the state's move toward block grants for human services funding. Unlike Bucks, Chester, and Delaware counties, Montgomery County did not apply to be part of this year’s new pilot block grant for the Human Services Development Fund.

Eric Goldstein was joined by speaker after speaker who testified to the importance of the modest dollars invested in prevention and community supports for people struggling with mental illness or substance abuse.

Third and State This Week: Court Halts Voter ID Law, Changing the Subject on Payday Lending and Paying the Boss to Work

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a court decision halting enforcement of the Voter ID Law in the November election, an effort to change the subject on payday lending, a report on rising student debt, a lawsuit against the state to restore General Assistance and much more!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On voter ID, we highlighted a statement from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) on a Commonwealth Court decision halting enforcement of the Voter ID Law in the November election. Chris Lilienthal also highlighted MSNBC's coverage of PBPC's recent report on the state's flawed implementation of the Voter ID Law.
  • On payday lending, Mark Price wrote about a recent state Senate hearing on the subject and why changing the subject doesn't make high-interest payday lending any better an idea in Pennsylvania.
  • On education, Jamar Thrasher blogged about a Pew Research Center report on the growing burden of student debt especially among the lowest-income students.
  • On jobs, Mark Price explained how the story of a Bucks County manufacturer who is finding it difficult to recruit workers made him think of a joke about parrots and economists. He also broke down the employment picture in Allentown.
  • On state tax policy, we shared a video from Reuters exploring the problems with programs that allow certain businesses to keep the income taxes paid by employees. The Pennsylvania House is considering a similar program.
  • On public welfare, Mark Price blogged about a lawsuit aimed at restoring Pennsylvania's General Assistance program.

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

Third and State This Week: A Jobs Update, More on State of Working PA & Public-Sector Job Losses Hit Women

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the State of Working Pennsylvania, the latest U.S. jobs report, the disproportionate number of women affected by public-sector job losses and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the State of Working Pennsylvania, Mark Price blogged that working and middle-class families have seen their incomes decline over the past decade and may end the next decade with less income from work than they started with in 2010.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price blogged that while U.S. unemployment declined in August, the overall report is a disappointment, with more people dropping out of the labor force and growth in payrolls falling below the average for the year. Mark also highlighted what the national experts are saying about today's jobs report.
  • On women and the economy, Chris Lilienthal blogged about a new report finding that women are losing jobs in the economic recovery thanks to state and local cuts, especially to education and social services.
  • On state tax policy, Chris Lilienthal shared a Harrisburg Patriot-News editorial calling for an excise tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco, as a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that an increasing numbers of teens are smoking cigars and using smokeless tobacco.
  • On public welfare issues, Mark Price highlighted an Erie Times-News editorial that criticized a change in payroll systems made by the Department of Public Welfare that has delayed paychecks for workers who provide care to Pennsylvanians with disabilities.

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

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