The Update: What’s Happening in Harrisburg and DC – February 28, 2022



The annual PA Budget and Policy Summit registration is open! Take a look below and register today to join us for the virtual summit on the state of Pennsylvania’s budget.

Thank you for supporting our work,

Stephen Herzenberg
Executive Director

PA Budget Summit 2022 logo

Budget and Policy Summit 2022

“Advancing Democracy for Pennsylvania’s Future” is the theme for our all-virtual 2022 Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Summit. In addition to focusing on public policies that make it possible for all of us to thrive, we’ll also be highlighting the need to defend the democratic principles that allow all of us to participate in choosing leaders who will implement the policies that benefit everyone.


We’ll still be delivering all of the things you count on from this annual event: PBPC’s thorough analysis of the governor’s budget proposal and an overview of the challenges & opportunities facing the commonwealth; state lawmakers sharing their legislative priorities and answering your questions; engaging workshops with policy experts and outstanding advocates; and inspiring speeches from leaders who share your commitment to advancing shared prosperity for all Pennsylvanians!


We’re excited to be using Zoom Events which handles all aspects of the event: registration, updates, live feed of sessions with access to recordings of any that you miss, a Q & A with presenters, access to handouts and other resources, feedback submission, surveys, and opportunities to interact and network with other attendees.

Click here to register.


Tell Your State Legislators to Support Brighter PA!

Many Pennsylvanians still need help recovering from the pandemic—and our state economy could be even stronger.
Families are still struggling with:
  • paying rents and mortgages.
  • affording child care.
  • getting the mental health care they need.
  • paying student debt.
And small businesses struggle to reopen and recover.

Governor Wolf and House and Senate Democrats have proposed Brighter PA, a plan to use $1.7 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to meet these needs. But the Republican-led General Assembly opposes it.


Marc Stier: Every kid deserves a chance; Republicans don’t agree
Pittsburgh Post Gazette | February 25, 2022

“Instead of supporting equality of opportunity, Republicans believe that some of us are destined to work in McDonalds while others are destined to become doctors. Some of us are destined to be a Walmart clerk or a pizza maker, while others are destined to be lawyers. Where we start, they think, determines where we end up.

It’s true that kids who grow up in poor communities or disordered homes have more trouble taking advantage of educational opportunities. But in America, we don’t give up on whole communities because some people in them have problems.”

The GOP showed us who they are with challenge to Pa. House map
PA Capital Star | Marc Stier, Opinion | February 24, 2022

“Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre, recently filed suit against the House district map produced by the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC).

Most advocates of fair districting think the new district lines are an enormous improvement over those currently in place for two reasons: they reflect the changing demographics of our commonwealth and they unwind two decades of extreme partisan gerrymandering, which I documented in a recent paper.

Predictably, they have been harshly attacked by Republicans. The background for their criticism is fairly obvious—while the new districts are, by standard metrics, still somewhat tilted in favor of Republicans, they are far less gerrymandered in their favor than the districts Republicans drew for themselves in the last two decades.

It is hard not to conclude that when it comes to legislative districts, like presidential races, Republicans are not willing to accept any rules that do not guarantee they win elections.”