The Update: Everything Important Happening in Harrisburg & DC — August 10, 2022



The Senate voted for the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 over the weekend. Now, the bill needs to pass the House. Take a look at our statement and click on the action to contact your member of Congress.

Thank you for supporting our work,

Stephen Herzenberg
Executive Director

Senate Democrats Pass Inflation Reduction Act To Lower Drug Prices, Make Health Care and Energy Costs More Affordable


Statement | 8/7/22

Historic Bill to Curb Big Pharma and Make Corporations Pay What They Owe Moves Towards Passage

Following the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act—a bill that will enact historic drug pricing reform, reduce health insurance costs, lower energy costs, and reduce the national deficit—Marc Stier, director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, released the following statement:

The U.S. Senate’s vote to pass the Inflation Reduction Act makes historic progress on many fronts.

It takes a huge step forward in addressing the threat of climate change by investing $370 billion in a series of incentives to encourage the replacement of fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy. This legislation will put the United States on a path to meeting its commitment under the Paris Accord to reduce greenhouse gases by 40% by 2030 while creating an estimated nine million jobs over the next decade—disproportionately trades and manufacturing jobs—including hundreds of thousands in Pennsylvania.

Read more.

Take action here to contact your Member of Congress. (Waiting for link.)

Appalachians Celebrate Passage of Inflation Reduction Act, Call on Congress to See it Through

Press statement | ReImagine Appalachia | 8/7/22

On Sunday, the U.S. Senate finally delivered for Appalachian families when it passed the Inflation Reduction Act. This historic piece of legislation passed as a long-awaited budget reconciliation package is unprecedented in scale. It allocates $369 billion to climate solutions, which experts believe will reduce our emissions to 40% below 2005 levels.

“From an economic standpoint, this just makes sense. At its core, the Inflation Reduction Act is about making the absentee extractors that put us in this mess finally pay what they owe and set our capable workforce up with good, safe jobs that will improve the lives of the people who live there. And, the bill would help cut families’ household energy costs and provide a $30 billion tax credit for wind and solar with important labor provisions for prevailing wage and apprenticeships,” said Stephen Herzenberg, co-director of ReImagine Appalachia and executive director of Keystone Research Center. “I can’t underscore the importance of prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements enough – these measures are essential if we want to strengthen the region’s economy from the ground up, ensure that high road companies are doing the work in a fair and equitable way, and keep as many dollars of federal investments in our community as possible.”

Read more.

Ten Ways to Make Apprenticeship Central to Learning & Careers in 21st-Century Pennsylvania

Stephen Herzenberg and Diana Polson | Report | 8/4/22

Governor Wolf, as part of his Jobs That Pay strategy, established the Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO) within the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) in 2016. The establishment of this office provides an opportunity for the state to systematically expand apprenticeships across Pennsylvania, helping Pennsylvania’s employers develop highly skilled and productive workers, and providing good-paying jobs for residents of our state. With the help of the ATO, in the Governor’s first term, the number of new apprenticeship registrations annually rose from less than 3,000 to more than 5,070 (45%).

To support its efforts, the ATO commissioned the Keystone Research Center (KRC) to research policies and program initiatives that Pennsylvania can pursue in order to expand registered apprenticeship (RA). KRC’s research (1) examined challenges to expanding apprenticeship, (2) identified opportunities and assets Pennsylvania has that can help expand apprenticeships (including its industry-driven workforce development system and employer networks), and (3) distilled policy and program options for expanding apprenticeship, drawing from experience across the United States and in other countries. Keystone Research Center is lifting up this report from 2019 because as Gov. Wolf’s administration comes to an end, we want to remind policymakers of the successes of this program.

Read the report.