2023 Pennsylvania Budget Summit Resource Page


Thank you to all who joined us for the 2023 Pennsylvania Budget Summit!

This year was our first in-person Pennsylvania Budget Summit since 2019. It featured an in-depth look at Governor Josh Shapiro’s 2023-24 Executive Budget proposal and an examination of bold policy ideas to address the long-term challenges facing the people and economy of Pennsylvania. We were also happy to provide opportunities to hear from policy experts, elected officials, and leading advocates, as well as advocacy resources and strategies that change the narrative and direction of our state government.

PBPC Analysis of the Governor’s 2023-24 Budget

Stephen Herzenberg, Executive Director, Keystone Research Center.
Diana Polson, Senior Policy Analyst, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center

Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation.



Victory for Children: Pennsylvania’s School Funding System Declared Unconstitutional. What the Commonwealth Court Ruling Means for Students and Our Public Schools
In February, Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court declared Pennsylvania’s school funding system unconstitutional. Learn about this decision, what it means for students, and how advocates can join a movement to help ensure that our governor and lawmakers will support a school funding system that ensures ALL students have the resources in their public schools that they need to succeed.

• Susan Spicka, Executive Director, Education Voters of Pennsylvania
• Sandra Miller, Advocacy Coordinator, Education Voters of Pennsylvania
• Claudia De Palma, Staff Attorney, Public Interest Law Center attorney

Click here to see Claudia De Palma’s PowerPoint presentation.


Imagining a Pennsylvania With Skills Development and Career Supports for All
Many employers struggle to hire qualified workers while many workers cannot find good jobs or pathways to high-paying careers. Traditional education and workforce training (“train and pray”) disconnected from the economy cannot solve these challenges. For two decades, Pennsylvania has invested at a small scale in industry (training) partnerships and group or coordinated apprenticeships that might provide the missing link between education/training and employers. This workshop will provide an overview of the workforce and career and technical education proposals in Governor Shapiro’s first budget and consider how those might be shaped to achieve transformational changes that develop skills for employers, boost careers for workers, and become a long-term source of competitive advantage for our state.

• Rob Bair, President, Pennsylvania Building and Construction Trades Council
• John Doherty, Senior Advisor to the General President, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
• Stephen Herzenberg, Executive Director, Keystone Research Center
• Tara Toms, Apprenticeship Manager, Keystone Development Partnership

Click here to see Steve Herzenberg’s PowerPoint presentation.


The Incomes and Outcomes of Low-Wage Work: The Minimum Wage and Beyond
The minimum wage in Pennsylvania has stalled at $7.25 per hour since 2009. Join us to learn about Governor Shapiro’s minimum wage proposal and what it would mean for Pennsylvania workers. We’ll explore common minimum wage myths and trends from surrounding states who have already raised their minimums. We’ll also discuss the issues that impact low-wage workers the most.

• Claire Kovach, Senior Research Analyst, Keystone Research Center
• Vivienne Sinagra, Deputy Director of Campaigns, We The People-PA

Click here for Claire Kovach’s PowerPoint presentation.


Preventing Disaster: An Overview of Efforts to Force Federal Cuts to Vital Services and How to Fight Back
President Biden’s 2023-24 federal budget calls for making long-overdue investments in critical services and protecting the benefits that Americans have earned and need, but US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and lawmakers in Congress are threatening to ignite a devastating federal default crisis to force massive cuts to essential programs. Learn more about what’s at stake and the status of efforts to prevent disaster and make the investments in health care, jobs, and services that Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly want and need.

• Ali Feldman, Federal Organizing Associate, PBPC
• Jeff Garis, Federal Campaigns and Program Director, PBPC
• Robin Stelly, Organizer, Pennsylvania Health Access Network staff

Click here for Robin Stelly’s PowerPoint presentation.


Legislative Panel Discussion, Moderator: Corinna Vecsey Wilson, Wilson500

• Representative Patty Kim, Pennsylvania House District 103
• Representative Chris Rabb, Pennsylvania House District 200

1:30 – 2:45 Afternoon workshop session

Towards a Higher Education System That Works
In his first budget address, Governor Shapiro noted bluntly that “it’s on us to rethink our system of higher education—because what we’re doing isn’t working.” This workshop will examine the short-term (23-24 budget) and long-term challenges facing higher education in Pennsylvania. What do we need to do in this budget to avoid exacerbating the lack of funding, access, and affordability of higher education? And what’s our long-term strategy for achieving a system that works?

• Ian Gavigan, Rutgers University and Higher Education Labor United
• Diana Polson, Senior Policy Analyst, PBPC
• Kate Shaw, Deputy Secretary of Education, Deputy Secretary and Commissioner of Postsecondary and Higher Education at the Pennsylvania Department of Education

Click here to see Diana Polson’s PowerPoint presentation.

ReImagine PA: Leveraging Federal $ to Create Good Union Jobs, Equity, and Advance Climate Action
From 2020 to August 2022, climate action in the United States including the ReImagine Appalachia (RA) campaign, focused on enacting federal climate infrastructure legislation. Once historic legislation passed (in the form of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, and CHIPS+), the challenge became “winning the win,” leveraging federal legislation for Pennsylvania and coal country Appalachia to create good union jobs, promote economic justice and racial equity, and make progress towards net zero emissions by 2050. This workshop will provide an update on RA and KRC efforts, with labor, other partners, and now the Shapiro Administration, to advance these goals.

• John Doherty, Senior Advisor to the General President, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
• Stephen Herzenberg, Executive Director, Keystone Research Center
• Joanne Manganello, Laborers International Union of North America


Tax the Ultra-Rich Now: Federal, State, and Local Efforts to Make Billionaires & Corporations Pay Their Fair Share
Elected officials at all levels face the problem of funding crucial public services after decades of failed “trickle-down” economics have shifted even more wealth to the ultra-rich and depleted public coffers. Efforts to ensure that billionaires and wealthy corporations are paying their fair share in taxes are gaining momentum at the federal, state, and local levels, and this workshop will provide an overview of the Billionaire’s Minimum Income Tax legislation that’s been introduced in Congress, the Fair Share Tax Plan in the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, and municipal efforts across the Commonwealth.

• Jeff Garis, Federal Campaigns and Program Director, PBPC
• Representative Chris Rabb, Pennsylvania House District 200
• Arielle Klagsbrun, Deputy Campaign Manager, The Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE) and the Tax the Rich PHL coalition
• Nthando Thandiwe, Budget and Policy Analyst, Pittsburgh Budget and Policy Center

Click here to see Nthando Thandiwe’s PowerPoint presentation.