Legislative Memos and Testimony

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center produces a variety of reports, policy briefs, and other publications on state budget and tax policy, health care policy, education policy, poverty and public welfare, the economy, and several related issues. Below is an archive of all PBPC publications to date.

Browse by Issue: You can also browse PBPC publications by the following issue areas:

Tax and Budget     |     Education     |     Health and Family Security     |     PA Economy     |     Democracy

On Tuesday, February 2, 2016, thirty-three organizations, including the Pennsylvania Budget and Polivy Center, sent a memo to Governor Tom Wolf and the members of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania with recommendations for the 2016-17 state budget. The groups call for completion of 2015-16 budget, and a 2016-17 budget that raises additional revenue to close the structural deficit and make necessary investments in vital programs.

The ideas in this document were compiled by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center based on our own work and that of our partner, the Keystone Research Center, and that of advocates on many issues. The names of our partners are in our letter to the Governor and the members of the General Assembly.

In a democracy, public policy is ideally made after extensive public deliberation and debate. Deals made in private and announced at the last minute make it impossible for citizens to understand and evaluate the actions of their legislators or for advocates to mobilize citizen opinion on the critical issues of the day. Unfortunately, the last few days have given us two striking examples of the failure to live up to this fundamental democratic norm.

Organizations, representing advocates for education, combating hunger, the business, manufacturing, legal and banking communities, religious institutions and clergy, school districts and administrators, among many others, sent a letter to all state Senators, stating their opposition to Senate Bill 76.

One critical value that should guide tax policy in our view is “revenue adequacy” – having enough revenue to invest in essential public goods, starting with education, and in services critical to quality of life for middle‐ and low‐income families.

"Pennsylvania is now the second largest natural gas producer in the country," testified Research Director Michael Wood before a Senate Joint Committee,"and it is time to end the excuses and enact a real severance tax."  

December 11, 2013

"Pennsylvania’s experience with business tax reduction is instructive," PBPC Director Sharon Ward testified. "Since 1998, the Commonwealth has reduced taxes to the tune of $3 billion annually. These large tax reductions have not had the desired impact. When business tax reductions were first enacted Pennsylvania ranked 27th in job creation. By 2010 we had fallen to 34th."

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