News & Brews April 24, 2023

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Pa. reacts to SCOTUS abortion drug decision

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the abortion drug mifepristone would remain available during ongoing litigation. Pro-abortion Gov. Josh Shapiro said the court’s decision “is a relief” and said the work of abortionists “has never been more important.” Shapiro also touted the state’s new abortion website, which has drawn criticism for violating state law prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars for most abortion services. Meanwhile, the pro-life Pennsylvania Family Institute said, “If we value the safety and well-being of women, we should put their interests ahead of the profit-driven abortion industry.” Both sides, however, noted that the fight is not over.

Visionaries vs. pragmatists in WPA Dem politics

The Post-Gazette reports that “since at least 2018,” “pragmatic versus visionary rhetoric and leadership—has been the defining feature of intra-Democratic politics in western Pennsylvania.” While some talk about the nuts and bolts of getting things done, others paint a broader moral picture of a “better world.” And they use policy only to “accessorize what is first and foremost a crusade.” While the story focuses on western Pa., we’re seeing the same thing play out nationwide.

Op-Ed: Homer City Power Plant is ‘among RGGI’s first victims’

Commonwealth Foundation Senior Fellow Gordon Tomb writes that the pending closure of the Homer City Power Plant is among the clear consequences of Gov. Shapiro refusing to oppose Pennsylvania’s entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). While campaigning for governor, Shapiro expressed concerns over RGGI’s impact. But his “budget proposal includes more than $600 million in carbon-tax receipts, and he reportedly plans to hire staff to administer RGGI.”

Pa. ranks 20th in state taxes collections per capita

According to the annual “Facts and Figures” report from the Tax Foundation, which “compares all 50 states on over 40 measures of tax rates, collections, burdens, and more,” Pa. ranks 20th, with state tax collections per capita at $3,824. This is almost even with the national average of $3,831. Ranking 1st is Vermont, with state tax collections per capita standing at $6,356. Meanwhile, Alaska comes in 50th, with state tax collections per capita coming in at $1,438.

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