The Update: What’s Happening in Harrisburg and DC – May 10, 2022



In light of the leaked court opinion on Roe v. Wade, the PA Budget and Policy Center released a statement on the economic effects of restricting and banning access to abortion and other health care. This decision will have economic and other consequences for generations. Let’s not go back.

Thank you for supporting our work,

Stephen Herzenberg
Executive Director

The Right to Have an Abortion Is Critical for the Well-Being of PA and Pennsylvanians

Press Release | 5/10/22
Restricting abortion harms people unequally. People with higher incomes already have greater access to abortion and can travel to other states or, if necessary, foreign countries where abortion is available. Those who are struggling financially, who are young, who are LGBTQ, or who are people of color have less access to the reproductive health care they urgently need. These disparities in access to vital health care will be greatly exacerbated if abortion is made illegal.

Read more.

Philadelphia Needs to Create Jobs and Reduce Poverty: Tax Cuts Won’t Do It

Kehinde Akande and Marc Stier | Reports and Papers | 04/28/2022

For the last twenty years, discussion about ways to improve the economy of Philadelphia and create jobs has far too often focused on both the wrong goal and the wrong means.

The goal has not been to reduce poverty and income inequality and create economic opportunity for those with low incomes, especially for Black and brown people. Instead, it has been to pursue economic growth and jobs without regard for the impact on poverty.
The means have been cuts in business and wage taxes even though the evidence showing that this is an effective and efficient way of pursuing economic growth and creating more jobs has always been questionable. And there has been good reason to fear that tax cuts and the spending cuts or restraint they require would fail to reduce poverty and income inequality and possibly make them worse. Meanwhile, we have too often ignored alternatives to tax cuts as a strategy for generating jobs while increasing economic equality.
The aim of this paper is to redirect this debate.

Broadband Access Investment in PA — What it Means for Businesses, Health Care, Education, Jobs

Press Release | 5/4/2022
Today the Keystone Research Center, the 99% PA campaign, ReImagine Appalachia, Action Together NEPA, and Building Back Together held a press conference, outlining the federal funding for broadband expansion that is coming to Pennsylvania through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), as well as identifying opportunities for additional funding and jobs if our state and local governments actively embrace it and propose innovative plans to expand it. Remarks focused on not only the implications for the entire state but particularly on the broadband challenges and opportunities in rural communities in northeastern PA.

Tell your state legislators: Say NO to tax cuts for the ultra-rich in PA!

Tell Your Legislator not to give billionaires a tax cut

For a year, the General Assembly has refused to use billions in federal relief funding – plus the state surplus – to help those who are struggling to afford groceries, gasoline, housing, health care, and other essentials. They have refused to provide support to small, locally owned businesses struggling to stay afloat.
Instead of helping us and our communities, they rushed to give a tax cut to corporations.

This legislation now moves on to the Senate, and we need legislators across party lines to hear loud and clear: The people of Pennsylvania say NO to HB 1960 and YES to using the ARP funds to help us!

Click here to email your legislators.


Pennsylvania Business Report | 5/9/22

Representatives from the Keystone Research Center, the 99% PA campaign, ReImagine Appalachia, Action Together NEPA, and Building Back Together discussed the impact broadband expansion would have on the state of Pennsylvania as well as rural communities during a “Broadband Access Investment in PA” press conference. The group outlined federal funding for broadband expansion that is coming to the state, as well as identified opportunities for additional funding and jobs if the state actively embraces broadband expansion.”If their people can’t be on Teams, if they can’t work with their supply chains and their businesses and do the things that they need to do, sales, etc., through access to high speed broadband, it won’t happen. The federal investment in broadband infrastructure is a gamechanger for rural areas,” U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) said. “High-speed internet is a necessity nowadays when it comes to work, school, business, and even the delivery of health care services, but at least 394,000 Pennsylvanians lack access to broadband.”