Pennsylvania Ends Fiscal Year with $785 Million Surplus

Pennsylvania ended the 2010-11 fiscal year with a $785 million revenue surplus, thanks to better-than-expected collections in most major tax categories. Receipts came in nearly 3% above estimate.

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has a table tracking monthly revenue collections for the 2010-11 fiscal year at our web site.

The table below also sums up revenue collections by major tax item for the fiscal year.

Third and State This Week: State Budget, Marcellus Jobs and a Paid Sick Leave Update

This week, we blogged about the Pennsylvania budget, a setback for a paid sick leave bill in Philadelphia, a recent report on how many Pennsylvania jobs have been created by the Marcellus Shale boom and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • This week, Pennsylvania enacted a 2011-12 state budget, with deep cuts to schools, health care and human services, while leaving most of a $785 million surplus on the table. Sharon Ward had an overview of the budget and also posted this media statement calling it a budget that does less with more.
  • On paid sick days, Stephen Herzenberg blogged about Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter's veto of a bill that would have allowed every worker in the city to earn paid sick days.
  • On the Marcellus Shale, Stephen wrote about a recent Keystone Research Center policy brief on the actual job contribution of the Marcellus boom and the attacks it generated from the natural gas industry and its allies. Chris Lilienthal blogged about several key points state lawmakers should keep in mind as they consider enacting a Marcellus Shale impact fee.

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

Pa.'s 2011-12 Budget: Doing Less with More

The Pennsylvania Legislature has approved a 2011-12 General Fund budget that makes deep cuts to education, health care and other cost-effective local services, while cutting taxes for business and leaving most of a $785 million revenue surplus untouched.

I issued the following statement today on the budget's passage:

The Legislature has adopted a budget that does less with more, cutting services to children while leaving most of a $785 million revenue surplus on the table.

Philadelphia Mayor Vetoes Paid Sick Leave Bill

Some bad news out of Philadelphia Tuesday — Mayor Michael Nutter vetoed legislation that would have allowed every worker in the city to earn paid sick days.

As Lonnie Golden, a professor of economics and labor studies at Penn State Abington, and I wrote in an op-ed earlier this month, a paid sick days law would be good for business, good for the economy and good for public health in Philadelphia.

2011-12 State Budget Highlights

State legislative leaders and Governor Tom Corbett agreed on a 2011-12 state budget deal this week, and on Tuesday, the state Senate approved it on a 30-20 party-line vote. The bill heads to the House of Representatives next.

It would spend just $27.2 billion, down $962 million, or 3.4%, from the 2010-11 budget.

Some Key Points to Keep in Mind on Marcellus Impact Fee

State lawmakers may vote in the coming days on enacting a tax or fee on Marcellus Shale drilling, but as always the devil is in the details. Just how much will drillers be asked to pay and where will the revenue go?

Various proposals take varying approaches, but as we found in a recent Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center analysis, most of the leading plans being debated in Harrisburg give the lion’s share of local funding to only eight drilling counties, while doing nothing to address state cuts to education and local services. By contrast, the 10 counties that contribute 61% of current state taxes would receive 0.1% of the local drilling impact funds.

We shared that report with lawmakers today and asked them to take the following critical points into consideration as they continue to debate the contours of a drilling tax or fee in Pennsylvania.

Some Details Emerge on 2011-12 Pa. Budget Deal

Some details emerged Monday on the 2011-12 state budget deal recently reached by Pennsylvania's legislative leaders and Governor Tom Corbett.

Much like earlier proposals, this budget plan includes deep cuts to education, health care and other cost-effective local services, while leaving much of a $550 million revenue surplus untouched.

KRC Makes Wall Street Journal Setting Record Straight on Marcellus Jobs

The Keystone Research Center made The Wall Street Journal last week in a story on what the media is characterizing as a “political tussle” over the number of Pennsylvania jobs created in Marcellus Shale-related industries.

On Tuesday, we released a brief showing that less than 10,000 Pennsylvania jobs have been created in Marcellus industries since the end of 2007. The brief corrected recent press reports that confused “new hires” with “new jobs” and made the inaccurate claim that 48,000 new Marcellus jobs had been created. "New hires" and "new jobs" are not the same because most new hires replace people who quit, were fired, or retired.

In the same period that Marcellus industries reported 48,000 new hires (the fourth quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2011), there were 2.8 million “new hires” in all Pennsylvania industries — but only 85,467 jobs created. To measure job growth you have to use — big surprise — a jobs data base. That’s what we did.

Third and State This Week: Insurance Exchanges, Marcellus Drilling Impact Fee and Unemployment Benefits

This week, we blogged about a state legislative hearing on structuring insurance exchanges, 11 things to hate about the state Senate drilling impact fee bill, the fine print on a compromise reached to continue federal extended unemployment benefits to 45,000 Pennsylvanians, and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On health care, Intern Emma Lowenberg has a nice summary of a Pennsylvania House Insurance Committee informational meeting this week that featured a presentation on how Massachusetts structured its state health insurance exchange and what Pennsylvania can learn from it as it moves toward creating its own.
  • On the Marcellus Shale, Sharon Ward blogs about the top 11 things to hate about the state Senate drilling impact fee bill.
  • On jobs and unemployment, Stephen Herzenberg takes a closer look at the compromise reached in the Pennsylvania Legislature last week that allowed 45,000 unemployed workers (and another 90,000 through the end of the year) to continue receiving extended federal unemployment benefits.
  • Finally, on poverty, Chris Lilienthal passes on an update from Community Legal Services in Philadelphia on a class action lawsuit that is proceeding on behalf of 359,000 low-income Pennsylvanians who are blind, disabled or elderly and saw a cut in early 2010 to a modest state benefit.

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

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Get a Lesson on Massachusetts' Health Insurance Exchange

Posted in:

Emma Lowenberg, InternBy Emma Lowenberg, Intern

Members of the Pennsylvania House Insurance Committee heard from a national expert today on Massachusetts’ experience structuring a health insurance exchange.

States have until 2014 to create state-based health insurance exchanges that meet the criteria set forth in the Affordable Care Act. If they do not create a satisfactory exchange by then, the federal government will establish one for them.

While emphasizing that there is no “one size fits all” approach for states as they structure insurance exchanges, Dr. Jon Kingsdale said Pennsylvania can learn a thing or two from the Massachusetts experience.

Syndicate content