News & Brews April 12, 2021

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Debating PA’s minimum wage

The Post-Gazette has a feature story on the debate over raising PA’s minimum wage. The piece mentions several companies that have voluntarily raised their wages, yet it seems to minimize the disconnect between the private sector setting its labor costs (which in some cases has been a response to supply and demand) and a government-mandated wage hike which would raise wages for some while putting many others out of work entirely.

PSERS’ woes

With the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) confirming last week that it had received a subpoena in relation to a federal investigation, the Inquirer has provided a “guide to the woes facing Pa.’s biggest pension plan.”

Podcast: How gov’t unions are failing workers

Our friend Elisabeth Kines, National Executive Director of Americans for Fair Treatment, joined the Daily Signal podcast to explain how public sector unions have come to wield tremendous power at the expense of the workers they claim to represent. Listen here! (The interview begins at the 5:25 time stamp.)

PA state and local tax rate was 10.4% in 2019

According to a new analysis from the Tax Foundation, Pennsylvania ranked 16th highest among the 50 states for our effective state and local tax rate, which stood at 10.4% in 2019. New York came in first at 14.1%, while Alaska had the lightest burden at 5.8%. So…who wants to move to Alaska?

Biden says PA schools need $1.4 billion (guess what, they already have it)

As part of his push for a $2.3 trillion “infrastructure” package (with “infrastructure” being ever-so-loosely defined), President Biden has said PA schools need $1.4 billion for maintenance and upgrades. The figure was reported by the AP based on state summaries obtained by them. Well, schools are already sitting on multiple times that amount. As the Commonwealth Foundation notes, if you factor in school district reserve funds, CARES Act funding, and CRRSA (Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations) Act funding, PA schools already have “an excess of $6 billion.” How fortuitous! But tell me again why that doesn’t count?

On May 18, VoteYesPA to save lives and livelihoods

On May 18, voters can approve two proposed constitutional amendments that would restore a legislative check and balance on Gov. Wolf’s (and any future governor’s) emergency powers. Check out, which has resources including link to request a mail-in ballot, a VoteYesPA sign you can download and print, a sample email businesses can send encouraging others to vote yes on May 18, and more.

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