The Update: What’s Happening in Harrisburg and DC – November 27, 2021



KRC KUDOS—This past month, two days into a strike by teachers without a union contract since 2017, a PBPC report analyzed the challenges faced by the Scranton School District, its 10,000 students, and the community at large, as well as opportunities for improvement in the months and years ahead. The report helped shape media coverage and community understanding of the strike and, according to representatives of the American Federation of Teachers, contributed to an equitable resolution overwhelmingly ratified by teachers. We look forward to building on this settlement to help the School District, its union, and the city win additional fair school funding from the state and to leverage federal resources for “community schools” that can anchor the revitalization of the city.

In Solidarity,

Stephen Herzenberg
Executive Director

U.S. House Passage of ‘Build Back Better’ Advances Transformational Investments in U.S. Jobs, Families
Statement | 11/18/21
Jeff Garis, coordinator of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center’s federal advocacy campaign, The 99% Pennsylvania, released this statement in response to the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Build Back Better bill:
“Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed President Biden’s unprecedented and transformative plan to better the lives of all Americans—Black, brown, and white; those with low, moderate, or high incomes; the youngest children and the oldest seniors. All 9 of the Democratic representatives from Pennsylvania voted in favor of the legislation, while all Republican members opposed it. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) commends Representatives Brendan Boyle (PA-2), Dwight Evans (PA-3), Madeleine Dean (PA-4), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-5), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-6), Susan Wild (PA-7), Matt Cartwright (PA-8), Conor Lamb (PA-17), and Mike Doyle (PA-18) for voting to pass the Build Back Better legislation. The organization urges Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey to support the House-passed bill and vote for passage when it receives a vote in the Senate.

‘Build Back Better’ Will Create the Pennsylvania We Want and Even Help Reverse Inflation

Stephen Herzenberg | 11/24/21

Build Back Better offers a once-in-a-generation chance to deliver shared prosperity to Pennsylvania—and West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky—states in which workers without a college degree have experienced either persistent poverty or 40 years of downward mobility thanks to anti-worker and anti-union public policies. Inflation is not a real threat. Climate change, underinvestment in families, and the perpetuation of extreme economic inequality, including based on race and gender, are very real threats. It is time to invest in our common future and pull together to fight the existential threat of a changing climate. It is time to kick start the creation of a New Deal That Works for US—in coal country, in all of Pennsylvania, and across America. To the Pennsylvania congressional delegation and Senator Manchin: we’re counting on you to enact the Build Back Better Act.

Read more.


Statement in Response to the Arbery Case Verdicts

Statement | 11/24/21
Statement by Marc Stier on behalf of the Keystone Research Center and the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.
“The verdicts in the Ahmaud Arbery case show that the criminal justice system in America can respond appropriately to the most extreme examples of racial injustice. Our task as Americans is to ensure that it does so in all cases.”




The U.S. House just passed the Build Back Better bill. Tell your representative what you think about their vote!
On Friday morning the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better (BBB) bill with all but one Democratic representative voting in favor of historic investments in high-quality, universal pre-K; good-paying jobs; more affordable health care, housing, childcare, and higher education; and broadly shared economic security. Every single Republican representative said “NO” to these long-overdue investments.




Senate Dems Discuss Worker Misclassification Issues at Policy Hearing
MyChesCo | 11/17/21

“The hearing also highlighted the worker misclassification issues experienced by workers in the app-based gig economy and discussed potential policy solutions to address the issue of worker misclassification. One bill discussed was Senate Bill 879 which was introduced by Senator Saval. This bill would hold general contractors responsible for paying any employees up and down a worksite, even if they are hired by a subcontractor.”


How the Infrastructure Act Affects Pennsylvanians
Reality Check on WURD | 11/17/21

Listen to the interview with Marc Stier.


Pa. can build a clean electric vehicle future. Wolf, lawmakers must embrace it | Marc Stier
PA Capitol Star | 11/19/21

“The electrification of transportation is a question of when – not if. Pennsylvania now has a chance to help our nation pick up the pace so that we can protect the health of our citizens, improve our energy security, create American jobs and remain competitive on the global stage.”