The Race to Rebuild: How Pa. Can Bounce Back After COVID-19

Summary of Study

Pennsylvanians are facing some of the biggest challenges of their lifetimes. Small business owners face closure, children’s schooling is in disarray, and job seekers have few prospects. Families need help now. It is time for lawmakers to launch a race to rebuild Pennsylvania using the following policy solutions.

  • Get students back on track:
    • Establish emergency education scholarship accounts for low-income families harmed by school shutdowns.
    • Ensure flexible enrollment for online learning so location doesn’t dictate success.
    • Provide relief to community private schools facing extinction.
  • Make Pennsylvania’s health care system always prepared:
    • Protect vulnerable populations.
    • Ensure telemedicine insurance reimbursement to improve patient access and outcomes.
    • Permanently ease licensing restrictions for certain health care professionals to better serve their communities.
  • Fix fiscal issues and prevent tax hikes on working families:
    • Enact spending growth limits known as the Taxpayer Protection Act to protect against overspending that penalizes future generations.
    • Reduce nonessential spending to prioritize needed services.
    • Move special funds into the General Fund to scrutinize and prioritize every dollar.
    • Strengthen balanced budget requirements and spending restraints to protect against deficits.
    • Reduce corporate handouts and subsidies to establish a system fair to all businesses.
    • Privatize the state liquor store system to improve consumer access, fix financial mismanagement, and generate revenue.
  • Jump-start local small businesses:
    • Adjust the tax code to permit businesses to carry forward any loses and aid in recovery.
    • Enact a package of regulatory reforms to ease barriers for job creators.
    • Protect small business owners against lawsuits.
    • Repeal prevailing wage mandates to produce needed savings for municipalities and school districts.
    • Reassess occupational licensing restrictions to help workers find jobs.

Read the full policy report here.

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Commonwealth Foundation


  • Small business revenue is down 24% compared to January 2020

Read the full policy report here.