The Update: What’s Important in Harrisburg and DC – October 12, 2021


Build Back Better will help secure the middle class AND make our tax system fairer. Make sure to contact your member of Congress today to help make this plan a reality. See below to take action.

In Solidarity,

Stephen Herzenberg
Executive Director



“Build Back Better” Bill Will Help Build and Secure the Middle Class

Young people are having a harder time entering the middle class, even if their parents were a part of it. More young adults than ever before (24.4%) were living with their parents during the height of the pandemic—a percentage that was even higher for young adults of color. Homeownership rates are at a historic low for young adults. Parents of young children are squeezed by the cost of child care, and then when their children get older, by the cost of college. Pennsylvanians of all ages feel the rising cost of health care and prescription drugs. As our population ages, costs related to aging, including home health care costs, remain a burden to many families.

The Build Back Better legislation currently being debated in Congress would help lower costs, cut taxes, and improve jobs—all of which hinder the middle class from becoming more stable and the working poor from entering the middle class. Passing Build Back Better would improve the lives of Pennsylvanians.

Read more.

The “Build Back Better” Bill Would Make our Tax System Fairer: A Look at the Impact on Pennsylvania

The Build Back Better bill, which was recently approved by the House Ways and Means Committee, would make our tax system fairer by raising taxes on the top 5% of income earners in 2022 and cutting taxes for other income groups. It would raise $2.1 trillion over 10 years by raising individual income taxes on the rich and increasing corporate income taxes and taxes on tobacco and nicotine. The bill also includes significant tax cuts such as the expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). These tax credits would offset tax increases for the average taxpayer and not the richest 5% of income earners.

Read more.



Contact your member of Congress NOW about the Build Back Better agenda!

The intense negotiations happening in Congress right now will determine if we end up with a weak and watered-down version of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda or one that truly invests in the needs facing us now and requires the rich and corporations to help pay for those investments by paying their fair share of taxes.

If your member of Congress is a Democrat, he or she is poised to support Build Back Better. Use THIS LINK to thank them!

If your member of Congress is a Republican, he or she is poised to oppose Build Back Better. Use THIS LINK to tell them that Pennsylvanians need them to support it.

If you are not sure who your member of Congress is, you can find out HERE.


Welcome to new staff!

Kehinde Akande and Eugene Henniger-Voss joined the KRC/PBPC staff over the summer. Welcome to both of them—we look forward to doing great things together!

Kehinde Akande

PA Budget and Policy Center Policy Fellow – Kehinde Akande

Kehinde Akande is a policy fellow with the PA Budget & Policy Center. She earned her bachelor’s from Queens College at the City University of New York (CUNY), where she majored in economics and minored in accounting and urban studies. She also holds an advanced certificate in public policy and public administration, from (CUNY), at the School for Labor and Urban Studies.

During Kehinde’s undergraduate studies, she served as a legislative and budget intern for an elected official in the NYC government. She supported by producing legislative proposals and assisting with the discretionary budget process. Post undergraduate, Kehinde served as an AmeriCorps Vista and Public Allies member, where she served as a job counselor with Project Renewal. There she assisted marginalized communities in preparing for employment opportunities. She also obtained experience in the legal field as a paralegal intern, case filing specialist, legal intern, and her latest role as a paralegal aide for the NYC Law Department.

Kehinde is passionate about understanding community issues, collaborating with stakeholders, and seeking potential solutions through public policy. She looks forward to serving KRC/PBPC and Pennsylvanians at large.

Eugene Henninger-Voss

Keystone Research Center Research Associate – Eugene Henninger-Voss

Eugene, a Harrisburg native, first interned with KRC in the summer of 2017, during which he modeled projected enrollment rates at state universities, among other projects. He took a short hiatus to complete his freshman, sophomore, and the first half of his junior year at Tufts University before he came back to KRC in the winter of 2020 to create a model that integrated state funding of public schools, personal income tax, and property tax relief. Eugene remained on call as he finished his bachelor’s degree at Tufts, graduating in the spring of 2021 with a major in math and minors in German and linguistics.
Evidently, KRC thought he was a model employee because they hired him full-time in the summer of 2021. He continues his model work, enabling policymakers to make informed decisions to bring us closer to a Pennsylvania that works for all.In his free time, Eugene can be found dancing socially and tickling the ivories privately.