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December 11, 2012 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

WATCHBLOG: PA highlighted in state budget analysis report

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — A new academic research group turned the spotlight on Pennsylvania spending in a new project, “The State of the States.”

“The State Project” calls attention to state budget spending crisis nationwide. It chose four test states to study for its inaugural report, including Pennsylvania.

In addition to examining the overall fiscal picture, policy analysts took deeper looks at the state’s biggest cost drivers: health care, education and pensions – the same issues that plague many state budgets.

“Though policymakers have sought to address some of these issues by trimming budget deficits and reforming the state’s public employee pension system, the fact that Pennsylvania’s debt bonds have already been downgraded by all the major credit agencies indicates that the state’s reforms are not nearly enough to put the state on solid financial ground,” reads the report’s executive summary.

The 51-page report notes that Pennsylvania has the seventh-highest pension debt in the country.

The entire “The State of the States” summary report includes studies on New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. The report was presented by Fels Institute of Government at University of Pennsylvania, the Institute of Politics at Harvard University and the American Education Foundation.

Contact Melissa Daniels at melissa@paindependent.com

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Melissa Daniels is a reporter for PA Independent. She can be reached at 717-350-0962 or Melissa@PAIndependent.com

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