Reports & Briefing Papers

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

Pennsylvania is already short of money and borrowing to pay bills less than three months into a new budget year. And that's after transferring $225 million from other state funds in July.

 

This paper is part of the work of the Close the Gap Campaign, to ensure that states accept the federal dollars set aside to extend Medicaid to low-income adults, and that Medicaid expansion waivers do not undermine the goal of providing comprehensive coverage with minimal burdens on potential enrollees. The Close the Gap Campaign is funded by the ACA Implementation Fund, a collaboration of eight national foundations that include The Atlantic Philanthropies, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, and The Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation.

August 15, 2014

Several American cities have raised cigarette taxes as a public health measure and to generate local revenue for cash-strapped programs. These taxes are not as regressive as once assumed and can be an important part of a local funding package. Philadelphia has requested authorization from the General Assembly to add a $2 per pack tax on cigarettes sold in the city to raise an estimated $70-$90 million  for its public schools.

August 8, 2014

A new report by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities examines the processes by which states estimate how much revenue will be collected in the upcoming year. The report recommends five common-sense best practices.

July 18, 2014

Once Upon a Time: An Analysis of the 2014-15 General Assembly Approved Budget

The $29.0 billion 2014-15 state General Fund budget enacted earlier this month fails to confront Pennsylvania’s serious revenue problems. Lawmakers pretended that the half billion dollar revenue shortfall in 2013-14 did not exist and “balanced” the 2014-15 budget with one-time transfers, accounting tricks, and phantom revenues.

July 10, 2014

A new report by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities examines the likely impact of a proposed federal ban on state taxation of Internet access charges.

June 27, 2014

The budget approved by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on June 25 made significant changes to the Governor’s proposed allocations to school districts and charter schools. The House budget eliminates a $241 increase to school districts and charter schools offered in the Governor’s Ready to Learn Block Grant, replacing it with a $70 million basis education increase, which is a 71% reduction from the Governor’s original proposed increase. This analysis compares each school district’s Ready to Learn allocation with that proposed by the House.

State lawmakers must produce a balanced state budget in the face of a $1.5 billion budget shortfall. A state severance tax could help to achieve that goal and prevent cuts to investments that are important to Pennsylvanians, including public education, early childhood, health care, and programs for children and adults with disabilities. A 5% severance tax would raise $600 million in 2014-15 and $1.4 billion annually by 2018-19. It is a recurring source of revenue that could reduce reliance on one-time changes, fund transfers, payment delays, and other strategies that are unsustainable over the long term.

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