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Press Statement

PRESS STATEMENT: PA Will Lose $3.1 Billion to Corporate Tax Cuts by 2028

By Press Statement

November 30, 2023


Contact: Kirstin Snow, Communications Director, Pennsylvania Policy Center,; Ellie Blachman, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, (202) 325-8718,


New report: Pennsylvania will lose $3.1 billion to corporate tax cuts by 2028

Pennsylvania is part of historic, nationwide tax-cutting wave that jeopardizes investments in communities and our ability to meet the challenges of the future.


Harrisburg, PA — In recent years, policymakers in Harrisburg joined their counterparts in more than half the states across the country on a historic revenue-reduction spree that shifted public funds away from public investments and toward tax cuts that primarily benefit wealthy households and corporations.

Those corporate income tax cuts have already cost Pennsylvania $127 million in revenues and will cost an additional estimated $3 billion by 2028, according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Those tax cuts—including the corporate tax rate reduction passed in Pennsylvania in 2022—will grow more expensive over time, with more revenue lost each year that could have been used to fully and fairly fund education and address the housing crisis.

“Pennsylvania is struggling to address a court-mandated requirement that we adequately and equitably fund K-12 education, but policymakers have cut the corporate tax revenue we need to tackle those problems head-on. And now Republicans want to accelerate those cuts,” said Marc Stier, executive director of the Pennsylvania Policy Center. Stier added, “By contrast, Democrats in the House have passed a strong plan to close the loopholes that allow wealthy multi-national corporations to escape paying any taxes. They show that we have choices when it comes to our tax code. We don’t have to tilt the system toward the wealthy. We can ensure that everyone pays their fair share and that we have the tools we need for our people and communities to succeed.”

Twenty-six states have enacted cuts to personal or corporate income taxes, or both, over the past three years. And 13 of those states have cut taxes multiple times during that period.

The cuts will shrink revenues by roughly $29 billion annually by 2028, according to CBPP. Cumulatively, they will have cost states roughly $124 billion by that time. The costs will continue to grow if policymakers do not reverse course.

“The recent surge of state personal and corporate income tax cuts is historically large in size and scope,” said Wesley Tharpe, senior advisor for state tax policy at CBPP and author of the new report. “State revenues aren’t just a number on a spreadsheet, they are critical resources that support families, communities, and our economy. Tax cuts on this scale will seriously hamper states’ ability to adequately fund current services or meet future challenges.”

The report notes that while 26 states have cut tax rates in the past three years, others have chosen a different path.

For example, Washington state established a new tax on capital gains received by the wealthiest 0.2 percent of taxpayers, which is expected to raise at least $500 million in new annual revenue for childcare, school improvements, and construction. Massachusetts approved a millionaire’s tax that will raise $2 billion annually for public education and transportation.

“As we look ahead to the new year, policymakers should prioritize meeting the demands of both the present and the future, not tax cuts for those at the top,” Stier said.


Editorial Board Memo on Education Funding in Pennsylvania

By Editorial Board Memo, Press Statement

In February 2023, Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer called for a new funding system in Pennsylvania to fulfill the state’s obligation to provide a thorough and efficient education for its children.

The Basic Education Funding Commission has been charged by Governor Shapiro and legislative leaders with developing a response to Judge Jubelirer’s decision in the school funding lawsuit, which held that every student in Pennsylvania should have—but doesn’t have now—access to a “comprehensive, effective, and contemporary system of public education,” as required by the Pennsylvania Constitution.

The Pennsylvania Policy Center has prepared materials for the Commission that address a number of questions raised during its hearing, drawing on both our own analysis of education policy in Pennsylvania and summaries of the relevant academic research. As members of the General Assembly will ultimately be making the critical decisions about how we fund K-12 education in the state and the public has a strong stake in the Commission’s work, we thought we would share this with you.

This memo summarizes three policy reports.

The first report, Shuffling the Deck Won’t Solve the Pennsylvania School Funding Crisis, addresses the paradox that Pennsylvania has a relatively high level of school funding yet also has a system with the most inequitably funded schools in the country. The result: a majority of Pennsylvania students attends schools that, by the state’s own standards, are inadequately funded. The paper shows that the inequity of Pennsylvania’s school funding is the result of our low state share of K-12 funding. And the inadequacy of funding in most schools, despite a relatively high overall amount of funding, is not just the result of inequity but also arises because the standard set by our constitution requires more than the mediocre school performance found in most states.

The second report, Education Funding and Educational Achievement, reviews the recent academic evidence about the impact of new school funding on student achievement and later-life success. It shows that studies of new state funding of K-12 schools subsequent to court decisions in other states have shown strong, and sometimes, dramatic improvements in the quality  of education.

The third report, The Contribution of K-12 Education to Economic Growth and Democracy, reviews the impressive academic evidence demonstrating that the 19th-century founders of public education in Pennsylvania, starting with Thaddeus Stevens, were right to believe that improvements in the quality of education both strengthen our democracy and lead to faster economic growth.

We summarize the three papers in the rest of this memo.

Editorial Board Memo on Education

PPC Statement on PA Court’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Decision

By Press Statement

The Pennsylvania Policy Center (PPC) joins several of its partners in expressing concern about last week’s Commonwealth Court ruling, which struck down Pennsylvania’s opportunity to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The court’s decision was made along procedural lines and is antithetical to RGGI’s purpose, which is to limit damaging carbon emissions in the state and surrounding region.

“Among the many steps Pennsylvania can, and should, take to limit climate change, joining RGGI is among the most important. Governor Wolf’s decision to join RGGI is justified by the substantial authority the law grants the Governor to protect our environment,” said PPC’s executive director Marc Stier.

This is of even more concern for communities of color and low-income families and is a setback for environmental equity in our Commonwealth. We echo calls for Governor Shapiro to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of PA so the state can combat climate crisis and its effect on constituents. Additionally, we call on the state legislature to take up the charge to help Pennsylvania and its residents move toward a more equitable clean-energy future.

Senate Again Refuses to Fund State’s Most Dire School Districts

By Pennsylvania Policy Center, Press Statement

Senate Again Refuses to Fund State’s Most Dire School Districts – Marc Stier, Executive Director, Penn Policy Center

“The Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Senate came back today for a rare August session. It took a step toward completing the budget by passing a code bill on several uncontroversial issues. However Republican senators have failed to pass a code bill with language that would allow the expenditure of $100 million for Level Up for the state’s 100 least-well-funded schools.

Senate Republicans keep talking about helping kids in so-called “failing schools.” The only schools that don’t provide a good education are those that are underfunded and that, today, they failed again to fund.”

STATEMENT: The (First Part) of the Budget Standoff Is Over

By PA Budget, Press Statement

After Governor Shapiro signed the General Appropriation bill today, the Pennsylvania Policy Center released the following statement by our executive director, Marc Stier:

“Today, Senate Republicans blinked in the budget standoff with Governor Shapiro and Democrats. Thanks to the increasing pressure from social service providers and school districts worried about the delay in receiving state funding and the public, which supports them, the Republican leadership agreed today to bring the Senate back to session to allow the General Fund appropriations bill to be sent to Governor Shapiro. The Governor just signed it after issuing his promised line-item veto of $100 million for the voucher program.

Today’s action does not mean that the 2023–24 budget is complete, however. In Pennsylvania, what we call “code bills” are needed to authorize some of the spending in the appropriation bills, including the Level Up program, which provides additional funding for the least-well funded schools in the Commonwealth; the Whole-Home Repairs program, which helps low- and moderate-income families fix up their homes; and funding for Governor Shapiro’s welcome initiatives for school mental health programs and indigent defense. We call on the Senate and House to reach an agreement on authorizing the expenditure of these funds as soon as possible.

The budget is also incomplete without appropriations for the four state-related universities: Penn State University, Temple University, Lincoln University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Students from Pennsylvania at these universities will see a dramatic increase in tuition if the General Assembly does not enact funding for them.

We are glad that the General Appropriation bill is now law. But we cannot applaud this budget as a whole. At a time when the state has an accumulated surplus of $13 billion, this budget should do far more to meet the constitutional mandate to fully and fairly fund our K-12 schools.

The budget that was passed by House Democrats in early June and supported by Senate Democrats did far more for our schools and included other initiatives that Senate Republicans have rejected, including

  • the creation of a state earned income tax to help families with low incomes.
  • more funding for subsidized child care and pre-K education.
  • additional funding for gun violence prevention, which is reduced from last year’s level in the current budget at a time when those programs are are having a positive impact in cities around the state.
  • new funding called for by a state commission last year for adult mental health.

Other critical needs of Pennsylvanians have not received sufficient funding in the 2023-24 budget including the parents of 90,000 3 and 4 year olds who do not have access to pre-k education.

And, Pennsylvania workers are still waiting for a long overdue increase in the state minimum wage. While raising the minimum wage is not done through  budget legislation, it does have an impact on the budget by both reducing expenditures and increasing revenues.”

Penn Policy Center Statement on PA Budget Passage

By Press Release, Press Statement

July 5, 2023

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kirstin Snow,

Penn Policy Center Statement on Budget Passage

Governor Shapiro’s letter announcing that he would line-item veto the appropriation for vouchers in the budget passed by the Senate last week clears the way for the House to also pass the budget and send it to the Governor for his signature.

Enacting a budget that doesn’t include a voucher plan is a victory, especially because that plan would have likely been a first step toward the destruction of public education in Pennsylvania. We are grateful to Democrats in both the House and the Senate for standing strong against vouchers.

Sadly, while the enacted budget is likely the best that can be achieved at this date, it is not a good one. While it includes bout a 5% increase in total spending, after taking inflation into account, the increase is not substantial. If not for what House Majority Leader Matt Bradford aptly called the “distraction” of the voucher issue, Governor Shapiro could and should have worked more closely with the Democrats in the legislature to reach an agreement with Senate Republicans on a better budget, one closer to the budget passed by the House a month ago. Such a budget would have:

  • provided the additional funding for basic education, special education, the Level Up program, and the remediation of toxic schools needed to meet the requirement of the Commonwealth Court decision on school funding.
  • invested more than an additional $50 million in the Whole-Home Repairs program.
  • provided more funding for subsidized child care and pre-K education.
  • excluded a cut in funds for gun violence prevention, at a time when those programs have had some positive impact in cities around the state.
  • included a long overdue increase in the minimum wage in our state.

And at this point, the General Assembly has not passed funding for Temple, Pitt, and Penn State, which means that in-state tuitions at those institutions, which is already among the highest in the country, will skyrocket.

These and many other needed public investments in higher education, —which we will detail in a more complete review of the budget in a few weeks—could have been paid for by the accumulated $13 billion surplus without raising taxes on Pennsylvanians.

So while avoiding the worst outcome, this budget fails to deliver all that Pennsylvanians need from our state government.  Democrats in the General Assembly and the House Democratic leadership did step forward this year and enacted a far better budget than we have seen in many years. But they didn’t get the help they needed from the governor to get their plans enacted against the opposition of Senate Republicans.


The Pennsylvania Policy Center creates the tools that political officials, opinion leaders, grassroots organizations, and the people of PA need to expand our vibrant democracy, secure our freedom, and seek economic justice in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Policy Center


Pennsylvania Policy Center Statement on PA Senate’s Proposed State Budget

By Press Statement


Date: June 30, 2023

Contact: Kirstin Snow, Communications Director,, 215-510-9336


Harrisburg, PA – Marc Stier, executive director of the Pennsylvania Policy Center, today released the following statement after the Senate passed House Bill 611, a 2023–24 General Fund Budget, on a 29–21 party-line vote.

“The budget passed on a party-line vote by Senate Republicans is utterly unacceptable to the people of Pennsylvania. Its worst element is the inclusion of a $100 million down payment on a radical plan, sponsored by extremist billionaires like Betsy Devos and Jeffrey Yass, to destroy our public school system. That money is diverted from the $200 million the House added three weeks ago to the Level Up program, which helps the 108 least-well-funded school districts in the state. With this choice, and their rejection of the House plan to add $100 million to the Governor’s request for basic education funding and $50 million for special education, the Senate is appearing to ignore the Commonwealth Court’s demand that the state fix our unconstitutional system of funding our public schools.

There are other flaws in the Senate Republican budget plan:

·      Apparently, it does not anticipate putting Pennsylvania on a path to a minimum wage of $15.

·      It assumes that reductions in the Corporate Net income Tax will be accelerated without closing the loophole that allows 70% of the corporations that operate in the state, most of which are wealthy, multi-national businesses to pay zero dollars in taxes, even though they hire employees educated in taxpayer-funded schools and use the roads and bridges the people of Pennsylvania pay for.

·      It provides less funding in multiple areas where the House Democrats boosted the Governor’s budget, including community colleges, the Keystone Communities program, grants to college students, child care services, and child care assistance.

·      It provides no funds to the four state-related universities.

The one bright spot in the Senate Republican budget is that it funds job training programs at a higher amount than the Governor or House proposed. Investment in this area is critical to improving our economy, creating jobs, and helping working people do better. We hope that the expansion of these programs can secure bipartisan support in the future.

The state has ended the fiscal year with a $13 billion surplus. There is plenty of money to make a far greater down payment on meeting our moral responsibility to fund our public schools fully and fairly as the state’s constitution dictates, as well as to invest more in helping Pennsylvanians secure affordable child care and affordable post-secondary education. We think most Pennsylvanians will be disappointed by this failed budget.



The Pennsylvania Policy Center creates the tools that political officials, opinion leaders, grassroots organizations, and the people of Pennsylvania need to expand our vibrant democracy, secure our freedom, and seek economic justice in Pennsylvania.

Penn Policy Statement on House Passage of HB 1500, the Minimum Wage Bill

By Pennsylvania Policy Center, Press Statement

Marc Stier, executive director of the Pennsylvania Policy Center, released the following statement after the PA House passed HB 1500.

House passage of House Bill 1500 is a major step forward for all working people and businesses in the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvanians have been waiting for seventeen years for an increase in the minimum wage and for seven years for the state to embrace a path to a minimum wage of $15 per hour. This long overdue action comes at an ideal time. Employers all over the state are already raising wages to ensure they can find the employees they need. Raising the minimum wage would create a floor under wages that ensures businesses can raise their wages without being put at a competitive disadvantage. Workers making below, and just above, $15 per hour would see their wages go up, which would generate new consumption that would help businesses, create more jobs, and keep our economy growing.

The bill was not everything we hoped for. We expect the General Assembly to return to the issue next year to end the preemption on local governments setting a higher minimum wage than the state level and also to replace the tipped minimum wage with one fair wage.

Despite the limitation of HB 1500, it is a huge achievement. If senators are listening to their constituents, they will pass this bill as soon as possible.

Penn Policy Speaks in Support of House Budget on K-12 Education

By Press Statement

Remarks by Marc Stier, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Policy Center, at a PA School Work press conference in support of the House passed budget for 2023-2024

In March, Governor Shapiro put forward a proposed budget that many of us said had the right priorities but did not offer enough funding for critical needs, including K-12 education. Last week, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a budget—with the support of Governor Shapiro—that added funding in many of those critical areas.

The House budget adds the basic education fund to the governor’s proposal. It includes new funding for the Level Up program, which provides additional money for the 108 least-well-funded school districts and adds money for special education and for repairing toxic schools. The House budget, which Governor Shapiro embraced, is a good down payment on what the state ultimately must do to meet the constitutional and moral requirements to fully and fairly fund our schools.

The additional funding in the House budget for education and other needs is made possible by the new revenue budget estimates provided by the Independent Fiscal Office. The IFO projects that the state will have almost a billion dollars more for the current and next fiscal years than the governor projected in March. At end of this fiscal year, on June 30th, the state will have a $13 billion accumulated surplus including the Rainy Day Fund and the General Fund surplus. If the House budget is adopted, the state will still have a $10.5 billion surplus on June 30th next year.

Contrary to some critics’ opinions of the House-passed budget, it does not reduce Rainy Day Fund but adds a bit more than $500 million to it. The House budget, like the Governor’s budget and any other budget that will be enacted this year, does draw down the accumulated General Fund surplus. That is exactly what it should do. The General Fund surplus is a product of tight budgets during the pandemic, federal pandemic aid, and a faster-than-expected recovery from the recession created by the pandemic. It was created by our tax dollars, and it should be used to support the needs of the state as identified by the people of Pennsylvania.

And that is what the House budget proposal does, as shown by the result of a poll carried out by Data for Progress last week.

The poll shows that 64% of Pennsylvania voters believe we are facing a severe teacher shortage in the state, and 69% of them believe that there are significant differences in education quality provided by public schools across Pennsylvania because some schools do not receive enough funding.

That does not mean that Pennsylvanians oppose our public school system. By a 26-point margin, Pennsylvania voters don’t want to replace our existing public school system with private schools funded by vouchers. Rather, they understand that our schools are not, but should be, fairly and adequately funded: 67% believe state government should be doing more to ensure that public schools are sufficiently funded, and 66% think that state government should be doing more to ensure that public schools are equally funded.

The Pennsylvania House budget passed last week does exactly what voters want— it takes a critical step forward in fully and fairly funding our schools.

Why We Should Raise the Minimum Wage in Pennsylvania to $15 Per Hour

By Policy Briefs, Press Statement


Click here to read a full-screen version, download, and print.

A high minimum wage ensures we have an economy that works for all of us. It protects workers and provides a dignified life.
  • The minimum wage is a critical protection for workers—like the right to form unions, the social safety net, and a tax system that asks the rich to pay at a higher rate than the poor. These policies ensure that our economy works for all of us, not just the wealthy owners of huge corporations.
  • We show respect for the dignity of work by ensuring all full-time workers are paid a decent wage that allows them to support themselves and their families. Opponents of a higher minimum wage want the work but won’t provide the dignity.
  • Since 1947, workers’ share of the benefits of the United States economy has shrunk drastically. But our economy is more productive than ever. If the minimum wage had gone up with productivity increases since 1968, it would be over $23 per hour today. Most of us struggle while the wealthy owners of corporations grow ever richer.
  • Our tax dollars subsidize wealthy corporations that fail to pay their workers a living wage by forcing workers to supplement their low wages with social safety net programs.
  • Pennsylvania workers have fallen behind because the state hasn’t raised the minimum wage in more than 13 years. It is worth 27% less than it was in 2009, the last time it was raised nationally. Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage is now worth less than at any time since the mid-1950s.
  • We need a higher minimum wage to protect workers whose incomes have fallen further behind as inflation has increased, in part, because corporations have ratcheted up prices to make record profits.

Every state around us is raising the minimum wage!

  • Since 2014, 30 states and Washington, DC, have increased their minimum wage, including every state that borders Pennsylvania.

Raising the minimum wage dignifies the work of adults who head families.

  • Raising the minimum wage benefits low-income workers, who now make below the proposed minimum wage, and those who make just above it because businesses typically raise the wages of workers making just above the new minimum wage so as not to lose them to competitors.
  • KRC’s analysis of $15-per-hour minimum wage proposals shows that more than 80% of the workers who would see a pay raise are over age 18. These workers are disproportionately women and people of color, and many were “essential” workers during the height of the pandemic.

A higher minimum wage will create new jobs.

  • Recent research by the NY Federal Reserve, KRC, and UC Berkeley economists is consistent with earlier research showing that raising the minimum wage doesn’t reduce jobs—in fact, it often creates new ones by increasing consumption.

Raising the minimum wage is good for local businesses and the economy—and this is the best possible time to do it.

  • Higher wages for workers mean that they and their families will be spending more in their communities, boosting the local economy and helping Pennsylvania businesses. That is why dozens of economists have endorsed a minimum wage increase.
  • Many small businesses can’t hire enough workers right now. They want to pay their employees more but are worried about being at a competitive disadvantage to businesses that pay less. Raising the minimum wage would create a higher wage floor, enabling all businesses to find the workers they need.
  • Higher wages increase worker morale and productivity. They also reduce turnover and training costs, benefiting local businesses that are being pressed by the higher wholesale costs charged by large corporations.

Would raising the minimum wage increase prices?

Some prices may go up, but wages will increase faster than prices for a number of reasons.

  • For example, the cost of a 12-inch, hand-tossed Domino’s pizza averages 1.5% more in the states around PA, even though the minimum wage averages 69% more.
  • Wages are only part of the cost of doing business.
  • Increased productivity and reduced training costs for employers hold price increases down.

The Impact of the Minimum Wage on the Price of Pizza

Price of 12-inch,  hand-tossed or thin-crust Domino’s Pizza Price relative to Harrisburg State minimum wage as of January 1, 2023 Minimum wage relative to Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, PA $10.99 $7.25
Annapolis, MD $11.99 9.10% $13.25 82.76%
Albany, NY $11.49 4.55% $14.20 95.86%
Trenton, NJ $10.99 0.00% $14.13 94.90%
Wilmington, DE $10.99 0.00% $13.25 82.76%
Charleston, WV $10.99 0.00% $8.75 20.69%
Columbus, Ohio $10.49 -4.55% $10.10 39.31%
Average difference between PA and surrounding states 1.52% 69.38%

Pennsylvanians support a higher minimum wage.

  • A  May 2022 poll commissioned by the State Innovation Exchange found that 73% of Pennsylvanians support putting the state on a path to a $15-per-hour minimum wage. A majority of Pennsylvanians in every state House and Senate district, including the most Republican districts, agree.

Ending state preemption that prevents local communities from raising their minimum wage is needed to protect workers.

  • The cost of living in many Pennsylvania counties—Philadelphia, Allegheny, Pike, and others—is far higher than the state average. Counties should have the option to account for these variations.

“One fair wage,” an end to the tipped minimum wage, is also needed to protect workers.

  • In Pennsylvania, employers of workers who customarily receive tips are only required to pay their tipped workers a base wage of $2.83 per hour.
  • Forcing workers to rely on tips also encourages sexual harassment in the workplace. One fair wage would protect all workers, especially women, from being abused by customers and employers.

For more information, contact: Marc Stier, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Policy Center;, (215) 880-6142.

Pennsylvania Policy Center Statement on General Fund Budget Passed by PA House

By Press Statement

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kirstin Snow, Communications Director,; 215-510-9336

Harrisburg, PA–Marc Stier, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Policy Center, today released the following statement after the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed HB 611, a 2023-24 General Fund Budget, on party line vote.

“In March, Governor Shapiro proposed a budget that had the right priorities but proposed too little spending in certain key areas, including K-12 education, workforce development, and housing. The budget passed by the House of Representatives today follows the governor’s priorities but adds spending in areas we believe deserved additional support. That spending is supported by additional revenue expected in both the current fiscal year and in years 2023-24.

Going beyond the governor’s budget proposal, the House budget includes:

·      An additional $100 million in basic education funding

·      A $225 million Level Up supplement to the 108 most underfunded school districts in the state.

·      An additional $50 million for Special Education.

·      An additional $250 million for school facilities maintenance and improvements.

·      An additional $30 million for job training programs and $14 million for career and technical education.

·      $200 million for an expansion of the Whole Home Repairs program.

·      An additional $52 million for general support, facilities support for PASSHE schools; and $24 for PHEAA grants for students.

·      An additional $66 million for community and economic assistance programs and $30 million for the Keystone Communities program.

·      An additional $45 million for childcare services and assistance.

The first five items in the list constitute a strong down payment on the spending that will be necessary to meet the constitutional requirement to provide an adequate education to every child in Pennsylvania. The sixth item—funding for job training—is, we believe, a critical investment for Pennsylvania workers and our economy. And the seventh item, the addition to the Whole Home Repairs program, will take an additional step forward in helping low- and moderate-income Pennsylvanians deal with the current crisis in affordable housing.

Despite these welcome additions to Governor Shapiro’s proposal, this is a fiscally responsible budget plan. The state remains on pace to have a more than $13 billion budget surplus at the end of the current fiscal year, including an $8 billion operating surplus and over $5 billion in the Rainy Day Fund. This is a far greater surplus than is necessary or reasonable to maintain. The House budget for 2023-24 expects an ending balance of $5.6 billion before additions to the Rainy Day Fund, essentially the ending balance the governor proposed in March. The additional funding proposed by the Appropriations Committee is supported by higher revenue expectations for the current fiscal year ($663 million) and Fiscal year 2023-24 ($461 million) compared to the governor’s March projections. These higher revenue expectations are based on the IFO’s recent projections and are in keeping with both recent revenues and consensus estimates for growth in the Pennsylvania economy over the next year.

In addition, the House passed proposes to add an additional $558.7 million to the Rainy Day Fund. The governor’s budget did not propose adding anything to the Rainy Day Fund. If this budget is adopted, at the end of the 2023-24 fiscal year, that is on June 30, 2024, the state will still have an accumulated surplus of over $10.5 billion, including a General Fund operating surplus of $5 billion and a $5.7 billion Rainy Day Fund.

Given the large surplus, the higher than expected revenues, and the urgent needs of Pennsylvanians—including the need to fully and fairly fund our schools—it would be irresponsible not to enact a budget along the lines passed by the House Appropriations Committee. We commend Chairman Harris and the Democrats who devised this proposal. We hope that the Republicans who opposed it will reconsider when the bill comes to the floor of the House and the Senate.”


The Pennsylvania Policy Center aims through its research and policy development to create the tools political officials, opinion leaders, grassroots organizations, and the people of Pennsylvania need to expand our vibrant democracy, secure our freedom, and seek economic justice in Pennsylvania.







Pennsylvania Policy Center to Launch in Effort to Improve State Policies and Strengthen Communities

By Press Statement

HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Policy Center, a nonprofit conducting policy research and analysis, will launch next month with the goal of expanding opportunity and promoting equity throughout Pennsylvania. Led by Marc Stier, who has served in leadership roles at policy advocacy organizations for more than two decades, the Center will identify solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing Pennsylvanians from Erie to Philadelphia and Scranton to Pittsburgh. The Center will launch on May 3, 2023.

“Regardless of whether you live in rural, urban, or suburban Pennsylvania, most of us are facing the same challenges,” said Stier. “We will focus our research on policies that improve people’s day-to-day lives and strengthen our communities. Our goal is to ensure children get a quality education, working people get the training and support they need to build a better life, and all Pennsylvanians have access to high-quality public services and programs paid for by fair taxes.”

The Center will provide information, quantitative analysis, and case studies on issues people have raised in community conversations held across the state. Its research agenda will include housing affordability and homelessness, child care, education at all levels, senior care, and tax and fiscal issues. By the end of this year, the Center anticipates having a staff of up to 10 policy analysts, communications experts, and advocates who will seek to equip lawmakers, journalists, advocacy groups, nonprofit service providers, and the public with unassailable information and tools they need to advance public policies that work for all Pennsylvanians.

The Center will conduct research on local, state, and federal policies so that lawmakers at all levels of government understand the needs of Pennsylvanians. This will also allow the Center to identify promising programs and ideas operating locally that should be scaled statewide; provide practical recommendations to elected and senior agency officials; and analyze the impact of different federal programs on families’ health and well-being, such as the Child Tax Credit and the extension or expansion of public benefits initially put in place during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The new organization will represent Pennsylvania in the State Priorities Partnership, a network of more than 40 independent, nonprofit research and policy organizations coordinated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Partnership works to expand economic opportunity, reduce inequality, and fight poverty.


Marc Stier

Marc Stier has had a long career as an activist, advocate, teacher, and writer. From 2015 to 2023, Marc was the director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center in Harrisburg, PA, where he wrote policy reports on many federal, state, and local issues, including tax fairness, K-12 and higher education funding, raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage, health care, and child care, as well as on racial and gender-related justice. He was also the founder and chair of PBPC’s advocacy campaign We The People–PA.

Before joining PBPC, Marc served as the executive director of Penn Action, where he worked to protect funding for education and women’s health care and expand Social Security. He was also the Pennsylvania director of Health Care for America Now, which led the grassroots effort in support of what became the Affordable Care Act, and the Health Care campaign manager for SEIU Pennsylvania State Council. He began his career in activism as a leader and then president of West Mt. Airy Neighbors in Philadelphia and an advocate for transit funding.

Stier was an academic for 25 years before starting his career in public policy analysis and advocacy. He has a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and a doctorate from Harvard University, both in political science. He has taught at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; City College of New York; the University of North Carolina, Charlotte; and Temple University, where he was the associate director and internet coordinator of the Intellectual Heritage Program. Stier is the author of papers on political philosophy, the history of political thought, and American politics. He is the author of the book Grassroots Advocacy and Health Care Reform, published in 2013. He will be publishing two new books in the next few years, Liberalism and Communitarianism Revisited and Civilization and Its Contents: Reflections on Sex and the Culture Wars. He is also co-editor of Ambiguity in the Western Tradition.