News & Brews March 15, 2024

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Pa. job numbers less than previously thought

The Center Square reports that “Pennsylvania had 53,000 fewer jobs in 2023 than previously estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,” per a new report from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office. “[T]he revised data show that previous estimates were almost 1% higher than how many workers were actually employed in the commonwealth. … The only category that went up in the data were government workers, with 1,200 more than previously estimated.”

Casey’s lead over McCormick narrows in new poll

The Hill reports that per a new Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey, incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Bob Casey leads GOP challenger David McCormick 45% to 41% among registered voters, “a narrower margin than the 10-point gap recorded in February, when Casey pulled in 49 percent to McCormick’s 39 percent.” An additional 14% in the latest survey are undecided, and when these “voters are forced to make a pick of which candidate they lean toward, Casey’s support climbs to 52 percent, and McCormick’s to 48 percent”

Shapiro’s proposed energy tax draws criticism

The Delaware Valley Journal reports on reactions to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposal to create a Pennsylvania carbon tax and trade scheme instead of participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which is a regional carbon tax and trade scheme. GOP state Sen. Gene Yaw, who chairs the Environmental Resources and Energy committee, said, “Why would anyone come to Pennsylvania with the idea of a new tax? That just makes no sense at all…. It’s RGGI 2. I see no benefit to Pennsylvania.” And Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association President and CEO David N. Taylor said, “Gov. Shapiro’s energy tax will cause widespread destruction in every industry in Pennsylvania. A new, additional tax on energy production will jeopardize our vital industries and undermine the hardworking women and men on our shop floors while massively subsidizing boutique ‘green’ energy monopolized by China.” (That said, some folks like the plan.)

Op-Ed: How I became a school choice advocate

The Commonwealth Foundation’s Rachel Langan chronicles her unexpected journey from school choice opponent to school choice advocate. Rachel’s conversion stemmed from her firsthand experience with “our deeply flawed educational system” during the COVID shutdowns. “Suddenly, I found myself rethinking my unfailing commitment to public education. Were public schools superior to all other options? If they were, why were public schools closed when nearly all private schools in my area were open for in-person instruction? … It was hard for me to argue that public schools serve all students when, in reality, they weren’t serving any.”

Allegheny County population drop continues

Yesterday, I shared about Philly’s falling population. Across the state, the news is similar. The Post-Gazette reports, “For the second year in a row, Allegheny County experienced one of the nation’s sharpest decreases in population…. According to new Census Bureau data released Thursday, Allegheny County lost a total of 7,780 residents in 2023, one of the 10 largest population losses experienced by U.S. counties between April 2022 and July 2023.”

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