News & Brews May 20, 2024

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Shapiro wants huge bailout for mass transit

NBC Philadelphia reports that last week, Gov. Shapiro “did something … that most politicians rarely do — ride SEPTA” while he was in the Philly suburbs as part of his “push to increase state funding for mass transit.” As the Delaware Valley Journal reported, “Shapiro’s budget would increase the state share of public transit funding by 1.75 percent, adding up to nearly $1.5 billion in new taxpayer dollars over five years.” Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Foundation’s Elizabeth Stelle explained that “Pennsylvania drivers already send more than $600 million to mass transit systems.”

Dems likely to try to keep RFK, Jr. off Pa. ballot

The Inquirer reports that whether independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. succeeds in getting on the Pennsylvania ballot “could have a major impact on the election.” Indeed, in 2020, the Dems successfully kicked the Green Party candidate off the state ballot in a move that “may have saved Biden” in the state. RFK, Jr. needs 5,000 signatures to make the ballot, but his “petition will likely face a legal challenge from national Democrats.”

Casey & McCormick, in their own words

KDKA political editor Jon Delano caught up with incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Republican challenger Dave McCormick to talk about why each thinks he is the best choice for Pennsylvania voters this November. See the Casey interview here and the McCormick interview here.

Gross receipts tax ‘rare nationwide, but not in Pa.’

The Center Square reports, “Though much attention has focused on Pennsylvania’s corporate net income tax, the commonwealth has another corporate tax that only a few states use: the gross receipts tax.” This “tax is applied on firms’ gross sales before adjusting for operating costs and other business costs, the Tax Foundation noted, and applies to every stage of production before the final sale to a consumer, unlike a sales tax.” The tax has become increasingly unpopular, with several other states repealing it. And recently, the Republican-controlled Pa. Senate passed legislation that would eliminate the gross receipts tax on electricity bills.

Op-Ed: ‘Union democracy? Not so much’

For all their talk of being the voice of the people, unions do a super great job of NOT representing most workers. David Osborne, Senior Fellow of Labor Policy with the Commonwealth Foundation, explains how court rulings have allowed a minority to take priority over a majority when it comes to unionization.

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