December 9, 2003
IF WE could give Pennsylvania's 50 senators and 203 members of the House of Representatives a holiday gift, it would be a dry 120-page report from the Brookings Institution on the economic state of the commonwealth. They may not thank us for this generosity. But you might. For maybe - just maybe - this report will force our back-to-the-past Legislature to finally confront the true state of the state. The report, Back to Prosperity: a Competitive Agenda for Renewing Pennsylvania, presents a comprehensive - even exhausting - picture of the commonwealth's strengths, weaknesses, promises and missed opportunities.
January 17, 2013 |
Pennsylvania has overtaken Atlantic City as the No. 2 U.S. gaming market after Las Vegas. In 2012, Pennsylvania took in $3.16 billion from both slots and table-games revenue, according to figures released Wednesday by the state Gaming Control Board. Last week, the Shore resort reported $3.05 billion in casino revenue for 2012. All the signs were pointing to a knockdown. Pennsylvania had grossed $3.1 billion in total gaming revenue in 2011 - and that was before the opening of Valley Forge Casino Resort in March.
October 28, 2011
IN WASHINGTON, Congress has under development a federal bill seeking states' reciprocity rules for granting the individual's "right to carry" sidearm guns. In Pennsylvania, any resident who, by legal scrutiny, has forfeited his right to carry concealed sidearm weapons could go to some other state, pass a less-strenuous background check followed by lesser firearm regulations and then return to Pennsylvania's cities legally armed and dangerous. All the while, nationally, city populations are under siege with the growing menace of lethal weapons.
November 19, 2010 |
Recurring budget woes aside, California has an economy against which all other states are compared. The state is a magnet for technology talent and an incubator, production line, and even slaughterhouse for industry-changing ideas and products. At $1.7 trillion, its economy is the biggest of the 50 states. So everyone knows that California is the elephant. But who is the mouse? Well, it's not Rhode Island, the smallest state. Its real gross domestic product was $43.2 billion in 2009, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis . Or tiny Delaware, which had real GDP of $54.9 billion last year.
April 24, 2012 |
For University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann, bringing more than 50,000 personal Holocaust testimonials to campus is a personal milestone. The video testimonials were compiled by the University of Southern California's Shoah Foundation Institute, founded by the director Steven Spielberg in 1994 to collect and preserve the testimony of survivors. Gutmann's father fled Nazi Germany in 1934 and eventually settled in the United States, where she was born. She first talked to Spielberg about the possibility of bringing the collection to Penn about a year ago. "I have spent some hours listening to them, and for me, personally it's just incredibly moving and important," Gutmann said in an interview.
August 22, 2011
HATE THE government? Well, here's a shock: There are some things government does well - yes, even in Pennsylvania. Sure, there's too much government, the Legislature's too big and the state's famous for scandal and stupid policies. But this same government, Legislature and some of its policies create and maintain some things of value. After surveying dozens of folks in and out of government and elective office familiar with state workings, here are five things Pennsylvania does well.
December 24, 2012 |
Tom Corbett is governor of Pennsylvania Would you sign a blank patient consent form before an operation? No. Would you build a house without a full blueprint? No. Building a state-based health exchange without the necessary information is not any different. The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provided that all states must have a health insurance exchange operational by Oct. 1, 2013, in order for consumers to purchase insurance by 2014. Over the last two years, my administration has been studying the implications of building such an exchange in Pennsylvania.
April 21, 2016 |
Pennsylvanians pay the highest motor-fuel taxes in the country, according to a ranking released Tuesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. State gasoline taxes and fees ranged from a low of 8.95 cents per gallon in Alaska to 51.4 cents per gallon in Pennsylvania, according to an EIA survey of gas taxes as of Jan. 1. That does not include an additional federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon. Pennsylvania's state tax is 24.9 cents more per gallon than the national average, 26.5 cents.
February 7, 2013 |
SHAMOKIN, Pa. - The black mountain of coal waste that looms over Route 61 here is both a grimy testament to an ephemeral economy and an apt symbol for this town time has discarded. That anthracite refuse came from long-shuttered mines and collieries, closures that have halved Shamokin's population since the 1930s. Many of the remaining 8,000 residents are as old as the tattered clapboard houses they occupy. (Since 1996 the town, about 70 miles northwest of Allentown and 70 miles northeast of Harrisburg, has issued just four permits for new single-family homes.)
December 6, 2002 |
A few weeks ago, Penn State Press published Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth. It is as huge as it is handsome, more than 600 pages long, extravagantly illustrated, on life in the commonwealth over the centuries since King Charles II granted William Penn his charter - indeed, over the many more centuries before. It is the first new history of Pennsylvania in 30 years. I wrote one of the chapters of the book. My assignment in this grand collaboration of scholars was to integrate the other historical essays, to come to some sort of conclusion about the meaning of the state's past.