Pennsylvania Lawmakers Revive Bill to Rein in Regulatory Spending

Republicans lawmakers will again tackle regulatory reform and the separation of powers in the new legislative session. Previous efforts made some progress, but failed to become law. The latest attempt is proposed Senate Bill 188 that would require legislative approval of “economically significant regulations.”

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Pennsylvania Is Missing 113,000 Workers

Pennsylvania is missing young workers and the problem is one that won’t simply go away.

While the commonwealth isn’t the only state struggling with a shrinking youth population, state-to-state comparisons are difficult to make due to data issues. What’s clear is that Pennsylvania has had a significant drop in its labor force participation rate. Rather than a story of older workers retiring, the majority of missing workers are under 45 rather than over.

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November Tax Revenues Down for Pennsylvania, but Still $700 Million Above Estimate

Pennsylvania’s tax revenues are $129 million short of expectations, though overall collections remain above initial estimates in the latest revenue update from the Independent Fiscal Office.

Even though the November collections were 4.5% less than anticipated, the fiscal-year-to-date revenues are about $732 million above estimates, an almost 5% increase.

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Pennsylvania Natural Gas Impact Fee Collection to Hit Record-High $275 Million

State revenues from natural gas were high last year, and are expected to set a new record this year buoyed by rising prices and more drilling.

According to a new estimate from the Independent Fiscal Office, impact fees from natural gas wells will hit $275 million in 2022, $40 million higher than 2021.

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Pennsylvania Lawmakers Seek Audit of Taxpayer-Supported Baseball Parks’ Rental Payments

Two Pennsylvania state representatives this weekend proposed an audit of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh’s major-league sports teams’ rental payments for their stadiums. 

Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia and PNC Park in Pittsburgh were among several stadiums benefiting from the Capital Facilities Debt Enabling Act of 1999, whereby the commonwealth would pour $320 million into the construction of new sports buildings. The arrangement entailed each arena paying $25 million in rent to the state every decade minus some deductions based on tax revenues the stadiums brought into government coffers. 

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Report: Pennsylvania Job Openings Continue to Fall

A report released Monday by Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) shows that new Keystone-State employment opportunities fell in June, marking a three-month overall decline.

Examining numbers from the federal Department of Labor, the IFO found that around 393,000 new jobs opened in June. Although that number exceeds the 281,000-per-month average for job openings that preceded COVID-19 in 2020, it continues a downward slope that began after new employment offerings reached 514,000 in March.

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Pennsylvania IFO Study: Labor Force Down by 120,000 Since Year Before COVID

A report released this week by Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) indicates that 120,000 fewer residents are working or actively seeking work than in the year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The study showed the state’s labor force participate rate (LFPR) for those aged 16 and older to be 63 percent in May 2019 and to have declined to 61.9 percent one year later. That percentage has continued gradually decreasing — to 61.8 percent in May 2021 and to 61.7 percent two months ago.

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Fiscal Office Chief: Pennsylvanians Leaving for Low-Tax Southern States

On Tuesday, at the first Pennsylvania Senate hearing on next fiscal year’s budget, lawmakers considered the state’s slow economic recovery—and the state’s failure to attract new residents.

Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) Director Matthew Knittel testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee regarding the state’s fiscal, economic and demographic outlook. Particularly in that last category, the Keystone State doesn’t boast an envious position.

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