Press Releases

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(HARRISBURG, Pa.) – Aug. 25, 2015 -- Dr. Stephen Herzenberg, of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, issued the following statement after line-item veto override votes on the Republican budget failed in the Pennsylvania House.

“Now that several likely unconstitutional line-item veto override votes in the Pennsylvania House have failed, seven weeks after Gov. Wolf vetoed the Republican budget in its entirety, it’s time for the General Assembly’s leadership to finally get down to the real business of seriously negotiating a sustainable state budget. This budget must restore education funding, solve Pennsylvania’s structural budget deficit and invest in the state’s economic recovery.

(HARRISBURG, Pa.) -- Aug. 24, 2015 -- Dr. Stephen Herzenberg, of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, called on members of the Pennsylvania House to focus on substantive budget negotiations rather than attempt futile veto override votes in the following statement released today:

“These planned line-item veto override votes are likely meaningless. Because the governor vetoed the entire Republican budget, only a veto override vote on the full budget would likely be constitutional. Moreover, until the General Assembly and the governor agree on how to raise all the revenue needed for a complete and balanced budget, agencies providing vital human services and other services included in line-item veto overrides have no guarantee that they will actually get the money they so desperately need.

(HARRISBURG, Pa.) -- July 28, 2015 – A new three-part report from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center suggests that similarities between the Wolf and House (HB 504) property tax relief proposals should make this a logical area of compromise between the Governor and General Assembly. PBPC, a project of the Keystone Research Center, also provides the first comparative numbers on how much tax relief the Wolf and House plans would provide to typical homeowners in each school district, results which may surprise many supporters of HB 504.

(HARRISBURG, PA) June 30, 2015 -- Dr. Mark Price, an economist and interim research director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, issued the following statement in response to the Pennsylvania Senate’s passage today of HB 1192, which now goes to Gov. Wolf for his consideration:

“We are disappointed that House and Senate Republicans approved a 2015-16 state budget plan that will prolong the failed, cuts-only approach to governing pursued under the previous administration. Apparently, no lessons have been learned from Pennsylvania’s poor economic performance over the past four years. Nor does this budget reflect the will of the majority of Pennsylvanians to fully restore state funding recently cut from education, provide property tax relief and enact a severance tax on gas drillers profiting from our natural resources.

Therefore, we urge Gov. Wolf to veto this ill-advised, hastily conceived and unilaterally developed budget.

 

(HARRISBURG, Pa.) – June 28, 2015 -- The 2015-16 proposed budget passed in a party-line vote by the Pennsylvania House yesterday, and under consideration by the Pennsylvania Senate tonight, continues to rely on the kind of one-time revenue sources and budget fixes that have patched together the state’s last four budgets and that have led to repeated downgrades of the state’s bond rating.

(HARRISBURG, PA) June 27, 2015 – Mark Price, research director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center,* issued the following statement in response to House Bill 1192, the General Appropriations bill, which the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is debating today:

“This budget is essentially Gov. Corbett’s fifth budget. It resurrects a failed, cuts-only approach to the budget that has been discredited by Pennsylvania’s experience over the last four years, in the vain hope that by doing the same thing again we will produce a different outcome. Pennsylvania’s recent poor economic performance can be directly attributed to this failed approach.

Instead, I encourage members of the General Assembly to look at the latest polls to see what’s important to Pennsylvania voters. Voters want to see restoration of education funding, property tax relief and a tax on drilling.

On Thursday afternoon the official Twitter feed for the Pennsylvania House Republicans began circulating an infographic noting that Philadelphia would get 32 percent of the increase in school funding proposed by Gov. Wolf and asked the question “Do you want to pay a huge tax hike to support that plan?”

Gov. Wolf has proposed a severance tax on the extraction of natural gas in Pennsylvania to provide funding for public schools. Lawmakers in both parties have introduced severance tax bills every year since 2009, and every year the gas drillers have successfully fought the tax, spending $46.8 million on lobbying since 2007.  Much of the industry’s lobbying money has gone into manufacturing a narrative, built on a foundation of myths, about the economic benefits of drilling and the fragility of the industry.

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