We The People – PA eBlast June #1

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6 mins read

Welcome, We The People-PA activists, advocates, and supporters, to another edition of our biweekly eBlast! We bring you legislative news from the federal and state levels and ways to get involved!

Content Index

  1. Legislative Updates
  2. Upcoming Opportunities to Get Involved
  3. In The News
  4. Call to Action
  5. Sign Off

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

State Update:

Lifesaving fentanyl test strips could finally be legalized if House Bill 1393 gets signed into law.
Unfortunately, it’s rare that we find reasons to thank a Pennsylvania Republican. After being stalled in the Judiciary Committee since 2019, the House Judiciary chairman, Rob Kauffman (R), allowed this bill to be brought up for a vote. It passed unanimously and now awaits consideration and a full floor vote in the House. You can learn more from the PA Harm Reduction Network here, and help them thank Chairman Kauffman here.

Federal Update

Yesterday, Americans for Tax Fairness released a new video that focuses attention on PA’s wealthiest resident, Jeffrey Yass. The video highlights the fact that most billionaires pay very little in taxes and use their undertaxed wealth to influence our elections and laws. If you’ve not had a chance to share the #TaxThatYass video on social media, please see the info below for links to quickly view and share posts from the 99% PA campaign.


UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES TO GET INVOLVED

Paid Fellowship for Student Leaders with Campus Vote Project: Fall 2022!
Democracy fellows are current students who work, on average, 10 hrs/wk and upon completion of the program, receive $500 for the first semester and $700 each semester thereafter. Fellows work to remove barriers to voting and educate their peers on election law, what’s on the ballot, and democracy in general while networking and building relationships in a statewide and national cohort of hundreds of student leaders and graduates. Sign up here to learn more.


IN THE NEWS

How the pandemic, progressives, and property assessments are fueling a debate over Philly’s taxes – The Philadelphia Inquirer

Marc Stier, director of the left-leaning Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, in April published an analysis in the Philadelphia Citizen showing that the city’s overall tax burden is in the middle of the pack when compared with peer cities.

At $4,302 per person, Philadelphia’s annual tax burden ranked 13th out of the 30 largest U.S. cities, Stier found. Past analyses showing Philly with extraordinarily high tax collections, he wrote, failed to take into account Philadelphia’s status as both a city and county.

Spending Limits and Corporate Tax Cuts in the News:

Marc Stier said the spending limits and corporate tax cuts proposed by the Commonwealth Foundation would “drastically reduce state investment in education at all levels leading to property tax increases and a failure to properly educate the next generation of Pennsylvanians.”

“The billionaires who fund the Commonwealth Foundation will benefit from their proposals,” Stier said. “The rest of (us) will suffer. Kansas and Louisiana adopted these proposals in the last decade with devastating results. And then their voters demanded a U-turn.”

CALL TO ACTION

No matter what we look like or where we come from, we all deserve to be able to feed our families, have a roof over our heads, and send our kids to schools we can be proud of. And this year, the state of Pennsylvania has over $13 billion, from both federal ARP dollars and a large budget surplus, to make that vision a reality.

But the Republican-led General Assembly doesn’t want to spend this money to help Pennsylvanians. They are focused on giving billionaires a corporate tax cut and wasting time calling the 2020 election into question or worrying about the imaginary threat of critical race theory in our schools.

You can help change their minds by joining hundreds of like-minded Pennsylvanians, advocates, and organizations at the We The People–PA Rally for a People’s Budget on June 14th at 11:30 a.m. on the Capitol Building steps!We can provide transportation from many places in the state, a lunch, and an opportunity to lobby your legislator after the rally is over.

SIGN OFF

We hope you found this week’s eBlast valuable, and we appreciate your support and the demanding work you all do in your own areas every single day. Keep on keepin’ on!

In Solidarity,

Marc, Nick, Vivienne, Jay, and the rest of the WTP-PA team


We The People – PA is a campaign working to ensure that all Pennsylvanians can thrive. We advocate for bold action from state lawmakers to keep our families safe during today’s emergency—and to build a stronger, healthier, and more just future.


DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.


The 99% Pennsylvania is a campaign of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, focused on advancing federal policies that will benefit the overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians. Ali Feldman is the federal organizing associate for the campaign.

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