News & Brews August 31, 2022

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Study: Pa. is ‘best-paying state’ for teachers

ABC27 reports that a new study published by “showed Pennsylvania with the highest difference in pay that teachers earn compared to all occupations in the state.” The study found that the average teacher salary in the commonwealth was $71,281 in the 2020-21 academic year, which is “a 28.5% increase compared to other occupations.” The story notes, “While Pennsylvania has the highest wage difference, the average salary was not among the highest in the country. Despite being higher than the national average salary of $65,090 for teachers, Pennsylvania ranked 11th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.”

Oz’s offer of debate ‘concessions’ is ‘insulting’

As Democrat John Fetterman has still not agreed to debate Republican Mehmet Oz in the race for U.S. Senate, yesterday the Oz campaign released a list of ‘concessions’ Oz would make—a list that’s raised more than a bit of criticism. Among the items: Oz “promises not to hurt John’s feeling,” offers to give him a “bathroom break” at any time, and pledges to “pay for any additional medical personnel [Fetterman] might need to have on standby.” Needless to say, Fetterman rejected the list, stating the “concessions made it abundantly clear that they think it is funny to mock a stroke survivor.” The list also comes on the heels of comments made by Oz’s campaign mocking Fetterman’s health, leading Oz to suggest voters listen only to what he says and not to his staff.

Shapiro ‘trying to retcon two years of bad policy’

Reason reporter Eric Boehm takes issue with Democrat gubernatorial nominee Attorney General Josh Shapiro claiming he opposed Gov. Wolf’s Covid policies–after he was their chief defender in court. Boehm writes, “There are two ways to view Shapiro’s comments. Perhaps he’s admitting to having learned an important lesson about governing from having an up-close view of the Wolf administration’s heavy-handed and unpopular COVID policies…. On the other hand, this sure smells like some really convenient campaign trail retconning of the past two-plus years.”

Only Milwaukee has slower economic recovery than Pittsburgh

A new report from the Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh found that “[o]nly Milwaukee has regained a lower percentage of pre-pandemic employment” than Pittsburgh (among similar cities). Covering the finding, the Center Square reports, “health care and social assistance drive the Pittsburgh region’s job shortfall of 42,500.

Pa. won’t tax forgiven student loans

After a recent news story noting that Pa. is among 13 states that treat forgiven debt as income, the Wolf administration confirmed that the state will not treat the student loans recently forgiven by the Biden administration as taxable income. PennLive has the update.

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