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Majority of Pennsylvanians think the state is on the wrong track

By Anthony Hennen | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – The appeal of living in Pennsylvania has been tough to pitch to people in other states, but it’s also been tough for leaders to persuade current residents to stay.

More than 40% of voters considered leaving for another state, or knew someone who thought or did the same, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Foundation.

To change that, economic reforms lead the way.

“This is a shocking statistic,” Commonwealth Foundation Executive Vice President Jennifer Stefano said. “We were quite surprised by public attitudes about Pennsylvania and how things are going in our state. The polling shows that almost 70% say things in Pennsylvania have ‘pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track.’”

The Foundation commissioned the poll to help craft their report, “How to Create a Better Pennsylvania in 2023,” which they touted as a “reform agenda.” They recommend changes for the state’s education system, economy, and government services across 23 points.

“Our state’s leaders need to get serious about helping make Pennsylvania a family and business friendly state where everyone has an opportunity to prosper and live fulfilling lives,” Stefano said.

The major takeaway is that the economy matters above all else.

A strong majority of voters, 68%, ranked rising prices and inflation, the economy and jobs, or taxes and spending as their most important issue for the election. Another 53% said Pennsylvania was worse for businesses today compared to 10 years ago.

The Commonwealth Foundation also recommended replacing corporate welfare with business tax cuts as a way to create a level playing field that’s attractive to entrepreneurs, along with reducing regulatory red tape.

On education, voters saw Pennsylvania’s education system as middling, giving it a “C” grade. Policies such as expanding tax credit scholarships were popular, with 85% total support of such a plan.

The survey was conducted May 12-18 of 600 registered voters, with a credibility interval of +/- 4.65%.

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  • I moved to PA six years ago from Florida. PA is expensive, but they also provide more services, e.g. free handicapped and senior bus. Some things I find really antiquated. Even though I registered my house as my homestead, I have to fill out that stupid form every year to get my rebate. That form costs a lot of money to process, and a lot of people to process. State stores are another serious waste of money. Why does the state rent or buy buildings for a store, pay for utilities and insurance and pay employees when the grocery store or drug store can do all that and still sell alcohol at the same price, and just pay the state for a license?

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