The Update: What’s Important in Harrisburg and DC – March 17, 2023



After the release of Governor Shapiro’s budget, we are looking at specific recommendations in the budget and what the implications of those changes would be. Take a look at the first in that series looking at investments in workforce development.


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Stephen Herzenberg
Executive Director

Shapiro Budget Proposes Intriguing Investments in a PA Learning and Career Infrastructure

Stephen Herzenberg | 03/17/2023 | Blog
Ten days ago, Governor Shapiro’s unveiled his proposed state budget for 2023-24. In one priority area for Keystone Research Center (KRC), workforce training and career supports, we’re excited by what we see in the budget. The amounts of money proposed are modest; but the outlined targeted investments hint at an appetite for “systemic reform” for building over time a stronger network of Pennsylvania institutions that support career-related learning starting in K-12 education and career advancement for adults while enabling more employers to access the skills they need.

Register for the PA Budget Summit on April 27

Bridging Divisions: Advancing Common Goals for the Commonwealth
We are excited to be back and better than ever for our first in-person Pennsylvania Budget Summit since 2019! Join us for an in-depth look at Governor Shapiro’s 2023-24 budget proposal and an examination of bold policy ideas to address the long-term challenges facing the people and economy of Pennsylvania. The Summit will also feature opportunities to hear from policy experts, elected officials, and leading advocates, as well as advocacy resources and strategies that change the narrative and direction of our state government.


Support Gov. Shapiro’s Effort to Raise the Wage PA’s minimum wage hasn’t been raised in 14 years and is still a dismal $7.25 and $2.83 for tipped workers. I just wrote a letter with @pawethepeople asking my legislator to raise the wage to $15 and to allow local governments to raise it higher. Join me in taking action and send one now!

Click here to take action.

In the Media

USA Tech News | 3/12/23

“A coalition of groups called Level Up said Shapiro should have allocated money to just the state’s poorest school districts to bridge the gaps between poor and affluent neighborhoods in Pennsylvania faster.’It’s just bizarre that Governor Shapiro took the only tool currently available to help address the constitutional problem through the funding system,’ said Susan Spica, a member of the Level Up Coalition and executive director of Education Voters of Pennsylvania.”

Penn Live | 3/13/23

“Gov. Josh Shapiro’s effort to win bipartisan appeal in his first budget by emphasizing workforce training and supports to help businesses create new high-wage jobs could prove to be truly transformative for the state, said the director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.Marc Stier, who heads that liberal-leaning policy center in Harrisburg, said the only problem he sees with what the new Democratic governor proposed in that initiative is he didn’t put enough money behind them.”

ABC 27 | 3/13/23

“’I think there are a lot better things to be spending taxpayers’ money on than creating a big surplus for the general assembly,’ said Marc Stier of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.”

Spotlight PA | 3/15/23

“Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of the Keystone Research Center — a progressive think tank that analyzes the budget — said that eliminating these taxes will be ‘a bit of relief for families in their monthly budget but it won’t be a game changer.”The basic idea here is that cell phones have become almost a necessity,’ Herzenberg said. ‘If you’re concerned about people making ends meet, including in an environment where inflation is still quite high, this proposal makes sense to give working families a bit of a break on their budget.’Herzenberg added that the elimination of the gross receipts tax is meant to benefit consumers, but he said there is a possibility that companies still keep that charge.”

Erie News Now | 3/15/23

“The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center recently predicted cumulative budget deficits just shy of $13 billion by 2028, a sharp contrast to the expected $13.2 billion combined surplus expected by the end of the current fiscal year. There are a few reasons for that prediction, including the end of one-time federal stimulus dollars and a reduction to the state’s corporate net income tax.”