July 19, 2012
"Governor Tom Corbett and lawmakers were all smiles when the new state budget was signed, but there is little to celebrate," PBPC Director Sharon Ward writes in a letter to the editor that has appeared in several newspapers commenting on the recently enacted state budget.
Laying off thousands of teachers and other public servants doesn’t sound like a particularly good prescription for a stronger economy, but that is the impact of state policy in Pennsylvania these days. So at the Keystone Research Center we decided to take a look at how Pennsylvania’s job performance stacks up against other states in the age of budget-cutting austerity.
After signing legislation complicating the determination of eligibility for unemployment insurance, the Corbett administration is laying off frontline workers in Philadelphia who help recently unemployed workers determine their eligibility. Pennsylvania in the last five years has lagged the nation in delivering on-time benefits to workers eligible for unemployment insurance.
Between 1947 and 1979, incomes grew for most U.S. households regardless of whether they were rich or poor. The period from 1979 to 2010 is a different story, with the bottom fifth of households losing ground and the wealthiest fifth gaining more than all other groups.
The figure below from the Economic Policy Institute’s State of Working America just about sums it up.
Despite ending the 2011-12 fiscal year with a $649 million fund balance, Pennsylvania fails to make the investments essential to building a strong economy or to reverse a recent trend where job growth in the commonwealth has lagged behind other states.
So concludes the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center analysis of the enacted 2012-13 state budget, which was released Friday.
HARRISBURG, PA (July 16, 2012) — In the final 2012-13 state budget, the Pennsylvania General Assembly restores some of the cuts proposed by Governor Tom Corbett, while leaving intact a 10% cut to human services and deep cuts to public schools and higher education made in 2011. The budget continues to shift costs to local governments and taxpayers, while adding new tax breaks for businesses.
I hope you had a relaxing weekend.
The Philadelphia Daily News does an excellent job this morning laying out the facts about the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps.