The Update: What’s Happening in Harrisburg and DC – June 15, 2022


This month, many important decisions will be made about state policy as the fiscal year draws to a close. See below for our policy recommendations for the minimum wage, taxing corporations, and spending Pennsylvania’s $15 billion surplus. And take a look at the great news coverage of the We The People-PA budget rally at the Capitol on Tuesday.

Thank you for supporting our work,

Stephen Herzenberg
Executive Director


One-and-a-Half Million Workers Would Benefit from Raising Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage

With the governor’s new push to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2028, KRC estimated who exactly would benefit under this proposal. According to Claire Kovach, senior research analyst with KRC, “One-and-a-half million Pennsylvania workers would benefit from a minimum-wage increase, roughly one out of every four workers in the state. Most of those workers—86%—are adults, 20 years or older and that minimum wage increases are well-targeted to families that most need a raise to pay their bills. Even better, we know from experience in New York that these increases won’t lead to job loss. What is the Pennsylvania legislature waiting for?”


Read the full brief.

KRC Research Update Shows BIG Earnings Gains From Higher NY Minimum Wage But No Employment Effects

Claire Kovach | 06/13/2022 | Blog
In 2019, researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a study of minimum wage impacts along the New York-Pennsylvania border. Their study compared employment and wages across adjacent Pennsylvania and New York counties for two low-wage industries and showed how these industries were impacted during New York’s minimum wage increases that begin in 2014. The Fed researchers found that New York’s increasing minimum wage had a positive effect on average wages and no discernible effect on employment.

Read more.

How Radical Conservative Policies Are Crushing the Middle Class

Marc Stier | 6/13/22 | Testimony
This testimony gives an overview of public policy in the Commonwealth over the last ten years, during which time the House and Senate have been under control of the Republican Party.
That control was a consequence—not just the choice of voters but of the partisan redistricting of the electoral map. As we pointed out in a paper written before the new maps were drawn for this decade, Pennsylvania, for the last two decades has had among the most gerrymandered legislative districts in the country.

The result has been a General Assembly, and public policy, that is often out of step with what polls show the people of Pennsylvania want.

Read more.

Corporate Taxes Without Combined Reporting Are Not Worth The Cost

Marc Stier | Report | 6/13/22
Governor Wolf and some Democrats in the General Assembly have proposed reducing the tax rate for Pennsylvania’s corporate net income tax (CNIT) this year and in future years, while also adopting some limited reforms that would expand the tax base by requiring some multinational corporations that now pay no corporate taxes to pay something. We believe that the governor’s proposal would be a step backwards for the state, both because it would cut the CNIT tax rate too much and because the reforms he proposes are far weaker than necessary, and far weaker than the one he has proposed in previous years. Some reduction in the CNIT rate makes sense but only when coupled with reforms that shut the door on the Delaware and Cayman Islands loopholes completely.

Read more.


WGAL | 6/14/22

“‘Our budget is a moral document. Where you put your money shows where your priorities are,’ said Nick Pressley, with the We the People campaign.

Pressley backs Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan of sending checks of as much as $2,000 to households making up to $80,000 a year.”

CBS 21 | 6/14/22

“It’s budget month in Harrisburg. Democratic lawmakers joined We the People PA, Make the Road PA, For Our Future PA, CASA and other advocates on Tuesday to address the $9 billion surplus in state budget funds.

It’s the largest surplus in the history of Pennsylvania and they want to see it invested in disadvantaged communities.”

Advocates in Harrisburg call for lawmakers to spend surplus funds on education, other initiatives

WFMZ 69 | 6/14/22

“Budget season in Harrisburg is unusual this year. The state is sitting on a nearly $15 billion surplus, a combination of federal COVID funds and increased tax revenues.

Some groups like, We the People – Pennsylvania, want to see some of that money now. They were joined Tuesday in Harrisburg by members of the Democratic caucus, calling for investing at least $2 billion in initiatives like education, a minimum wage boost, and more.”

PA House Democrats | 6/13/22

“Fiedler said the cost of a corporate tax cut is high: state revenue would be reduced by $600 million next year.

‘We should be investing every dollar we can in schools, parks, libraries, child care, and programs and services right in our neighborhoods. This GOP trickledown economics plan would help big corporations avoid paying taxes — but not help families across my district and local businesses who pay their taxes.’

Fiedler offered her remarks at a Capitol news conference hosted by the PA Budget and Policy Center. She said as the legislature debates the budget, she is standing with workers and calling on large corporations to pay their fair share after making record-breaking profits.”

The American Independent | 5/17/22

“A report released in April by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center notes that since the onset of COVID-19, there is even less affordable rental housing available in the state than previously. The website Pennsylvania Business Report noted that the author of the report, Kehinde Akande, said, ‘The two main takeaways are that eviction mitigation is working to keep people in their homes, and it should be expanded, and a permanent rental assistance fund is needed in the state for the large numbers of cost-burdened families in Pennsylvania.'”