State’s Largest Pension Fund Under Federal Investigation
The Commonwealth’s Public School Employees’ Retirement System is currently under federal investigation. While the exact focus of the federal probe has not been made public, PSERS previously announced it had hired outside legal counsel to conduct an internal investigation into a faulty investment report that the board approved in December. According to a report in PennLive, this error is likely to “have cost taxpayers extra and save school workers from a hike in their pension contributions.” This year, more than $5 billion in state and local tax dollars are designated to go towards PSERS. You can read more about the issue here.
Biden Administration Calls for Global Minimum Tax on Multinational Corporations
A week after President Biden unveiled his sweeping $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, members of his administration are doubling down on the corporate tax increase components that would fund it. In her first official speech as Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen echoed the president’s call to double the global minimum tax on multinational corporations from the current 10.5 percent to 21 percent, in addition to increasing the national corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent. In an interview with StateImpact following the President’s unveiling of his infrastructure proposal, PA Chamber President Gene Barr cautioned against increasing the corporate tax rate. “Let’s avoid kind of whipsawing these corporate rates back and forth and making the U.S. into an uncompetitive tax situation again,” he said. According to a report in Politico, Yellen plans to advance Biden’s global tax agenda via negotiations through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Two New Candidates Jump Into Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Race
The 2022 race for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat has gotten a little more crowded. This week, two women hailing from the southeastern part of the state threw their hats into the ring to be their respective party’s nominee on the ticket. On the GOP side, conservative commentator Kathy Barnette officially launched her campaign. No stranger to Pennsylvania politics (she ran in 2020 for the state’s 4th Congressional District), she will face off against current declared Republican candidates Jeff Bartos, Sean Gale and Everett Stern in next year’s Primary Election. Meanwhile, Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh is vying for the Democratic nomination. She will be up against current declared candidates Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Rep. Malcom Kenyatta and John McGuigan in the Primary.
Key Democratic Senator Announces Opposition to Proposed Filibuster Changes
In a blow to efforts to upend decades of U.S. Senate operational procedure, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, has come out firmly against ending or altering the chamber’s filibuster rule. In an opinion piece published last week in the Washington Post, he wrote there was “no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster…We will not solve our nation’s problems in one Congress if we seek only partisan solutions. Instead of fixating on eliminating the filibuster or shortcutting the legislative process through budget reconciliation, it is time we do our jobs.” The Senate is currently split 50/50 between the two national political parties – meaning that Democrats can’t afford to lose any members and typically need 10 Republicans to join them in order to move major legislation through the Senate.