Pittsburgh may not be the steel town it once was, with the economy of the state’s second largest city these days tied more to hospitals and higher education than smoke stacks. But manufacturing is still a huge part of Pennsylvania’s economy.
The sector employs more than 571,000 people in the commonwealth — including more than 30,000 in the York-Hanover area alone.
The average compensation for someone who works in manufacturing, not just assembly line workers but plant managers and other executives, is more than $69,000. That’s well above Pennsylvania’s median household income, which was $52,548 in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
With manufacturing’s above-average wages, new Gov. Tom Wolf has identified increasing the number of manufacturing jobs as one of his top economic priorities.
Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal Tuesday called for a modernization of State Stores to generate $185 million in additional annual profit by fiscal 2018.
The dramatically increased profits would be used to make payments on a $3 billion bond issue designed to help close the $30 billion gap in the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System, according to Wolf’s plan.
Under it, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, endangered by Republican talk of privatizing the system, instead would have a monumental task – assuming it gains General Assembly approval.
Based on the system’s profitability in the year ended June 30, gross revenue from the state’s 600-plus wine and spirits outlets would have to soar to $5.7 billion in fiscal 2018 from $2.3 billion in fiscal 2014 to generate an additional $185 million in profits.
Taxpayers and public school employees should expect some good news later this year when one of state’s major public pension systems releases its investment returns for the most recent fiscal year.
The state Public School Employees Retirement System, or PSERS, earned nearly 15 percent during the fiscal year that ended on June 30. A press release on the organization’s website Monday revealed the latest findings.
Exceeding the annual investment earnings assumption of 7.5 percent helps to ease the burden of the unfunded liability that must be made up in the future by some combination of future investment returns, contributions from workers and tax dollars.
Counties constituting the Endless Mountains Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Gas leases on state game lands in Bradford and Susquehanna counties have earned the Pennsylvania Game Commission $32 million in signing bonuses since 2008.
The Game Commission signed leases on 11 parcels of game land in the two counties. No leases have been signed on game lands in Wyoming and Luzerne counties. Royalties vary from 20 to almost 29 percent. Some gas companies are deducting the costs of moving and marketing the gas from royalty payments, the same as they do for private leaseholders.
Mike DiMatteo, who oversees oil and gas development on game lands as chief of the commission’s division of environmental planning and habitat protection, confirmed that gas companies have deducted post-production costs from royalty payments, although never enough to send the Game Commission a royalty statement with a negative balance, as some private landowners have reported.
The practice has drawn anger even from Republicans supportive of the industry, including Gov. Tom Corbett and state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-23, Williamsport. Both named Chesapeake Energy Corp. as a major offender.
Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Two out of every three major urban roads in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre region are in poor or mediocre condition, underscoring the transportation dilemma the state faces, according to a report released Wednesday by a national transportation organization.
And using those roads is costing the average driver an additional $1,320 per year in extra vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays.
The report, “Future Mobility in Pennsylvania: The Cost of Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Pennsylvania:
• Thirty seven percent of major roads and highways provide motorists with a rough ride.
“In September, The Pennsylvania Government Technology Commission was formed specifically to help the Governor-elect and General Assembly tackle the greatest challenges facing Pennsylvania government.”……
This article is worth the read and hopefully this new commission will help Pennsylvania move forward and fulfill its potential!
This news is too awesome for words. If you read my blog, you know that blight is something I post about along with brownfield reclamation. These issues are pivotal to places like Pottstown and their redevelopment. We need to attract middle class taxpaying homeowners and business/industry to reestablish the tax base. Getting rid of run-down properties is certainly one way to do that! Nobody wants to live in or locate a business in a blighted neighborhood.
The Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act, Senate Bill 900, unanimously passed in the PA Senate and is under review by the House Urban Affairs Committee.
This bill is aimed at slumlords and their neglected properties. If passed, the bill gives municipalities the ability to place liens against the property owners TOTAL ASSETS, not just the property in question. It also gives municipalities the power of extradition against out-of-state slumlords to face charges here in PA! Property owners can be denied permit applications if they are behind on taxes, municipal charges (i.e. sewer/water) or have code violations. County Commissioners would be given the power to establish a “housing court” that would only deal with housing related offenses!
Of course, there are those opposed because of the total asset seizure provision. IMHO good landlords do not have anything to worry about. They take care of their properties, pay their bills and are an asset to the community. For those who do not play by the rules it is about time there are some real consequences!
If you feel passionate about this bill becoming law, contact your Pennsylvania State Representative and urge him or her to vote yes on this important bill when it comes before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.