Pennsylvania Politics and Policy

A Commonwealth Reader
Volume 2

Edited by Michelle J. Atherton and J. Wesley Leckrone
Book Cover

PB: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1915-6
Publication: Aug 19

Ebook: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1916-3
Publication: Aug 19

224 pages
6 x 9
27 tables, 22 figs.

Addressing important issues in Pennsylvania politics and policy in a constructive, nonpartisan manner

Description

Designed to showcase current issues of interest, Pennsylvania Politics and Policy, Volume 2 is the second reader consisting of updated chapters from recent issues of Commonwealth: A Journal of Pennsylvania Politics and Policy. The editors and contributors to this volume focus on government institutions, election laws, the judiciary, government finance and budgeting, the opioid crisis, childcare, property taxes, environmental policy, demographics, and more. Each chapter is supplemented by discussion questions, suggestions for further reading, and forums with arguments in support of or opposed to contested elements of state policy.

In addition, Pennsylvania Politics and Policy, Volume 2 includes a detailed guide to researching state government and policy online, as well as a comprehensive chapter on the structure of Pennsylvania government. It is designed as a text or supplement for college or advanced high school classes in American government, state and local politics, public policy, and public administration.

Contributors: John Arway, Jeffrey Carroll, Bob Dick, Ashley Harden, Jenna Becker Kane, Stefanie I. Kasparek, Vera Krekanova, Maureen W. McClure, John F. McDonald, Josh Shapiro, Marc Stier, Jennie Sweet-Cushman, James Vike, and the editors

Reviews

Pennsylvania Politics and Policy is an invaluable resource for government professionals, academics, researchers, students and the general reader with an interest in state and local politics. This volume includes an overview of the function of the state’s government and electoral structure while addressing specific current issues such as the opioid crisis in the Commonwealth, the need to tax natural gas extraction, and the changing demographics of Pennsylvania’s school districts. The reader provides in-depth analysis in an accessible format that reaches all audiences. I highly recommend this volume for the classroom or for the personal or university library collection.
Paula A. Holoviak, Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at Kutztown University

I used Pennsylvania Politics and Policy in my Pennsylvania Politics class at St. Joseph’s University and was happy that I did. The first volume not only gave in-depth background to many vital issues affecting the state, but also provided a starting point for interesting class discussions about those issues. As a former Acting Secretary in the Department of Environmental Protection, I was particularly attracted to the section concerning the severance tax, but there were many other topical issues of interest as well. As valuable as Volume 1 was, Volume 2 is a not only an update, but an enhancement in its issues and layout. I will use Pennsylvania Politics and Policy again and recommend it to others.”
Joseph R. Powers, Adjunct Professor of Political Science at St. Joseph’s University

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments

Chapter 1: Government Structure
Pennsylvania Government: An Overview, J. Wesley Leckrone and Michelle J. Atherton
Discussion Questions
Pennsylvania by the Numbers, Michelle J. Atherton and Stefanie I. Kasparek
Commonwealth Forum: Does Pennsylvania Need a Large, Full-Time Legislature?
For More Information

Chapter 2: Elections
Party Identification, Voter Attitudes, and Voter Behavior in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, 1980–2012: Real Difference or Election Law Mirage? James Like
Discussion Questions
Commonwealth Forum: Should Pennsylvania Adopt Early Voting?
For More Information

Chapter 3: The Judiciary
Why State Supreme Court Elections Matter: Pennsylvania’s 2015 Supreme Court Election and Redistricting in Pennsylvania, Jenna Becker Kane
Discussion Questions
Commonwealth Forum: Should Pennsylvania Adopt a Citizens’ Redistricting Commission to Draw Congressional Districts?
For More Information

Chapter 4: The Budget
Commonwealth Forum: Addressing Pennsylvania’s Structural Budget Deficit
Revitalizing Pennsylvania through Government Reform, Bob Dick The Continuing Pennsylvania Crisis in Perspective, Marc Stier
Discussion Questions

Chapter 5: Health Care
Law Enforcement in the Twenty-First Century: Partnering to Combat the Opioid Overdose Epidemic, Josh Shapiro
Discussion Questions
Commonwealth Forum: Should Pennsylvania Allow Safe Injection Sites?
For More Information

Chapter 6: Demographics and Public Policy
More Trouble Ahead for Public School Finance: The Implications of Generational Change in Pennsylvania, Maureen W. McClure and Vera Krekanova
Discussion Questions
Commonwealth Forum: Should Pennsylvania Tax Retirement Income?
For More Information

Chapter 7: Social Policy
Is this the Care We Need? An Examination of Childcare Policy in Pennsylvania, Jennie Sweet-Cushman and Ashley Harden
Discussion Questions
Commonwealth Forum: Should Pennsylvania Enact Work Requirements for Medicaid Recipients?
For More Information

Chapter 8: The Environment
The Politics of Science or the Science of Politics, John Array
Discussion Questions
Commonwealth Forum: Should Pennsylvania Enact a Natural Gas Severance Tax?
For More Information

Chapter 9: Local Government
Should the Philadelphia Property Tax Classification System be Modified?, Jeffrey Carroll and John F. McDonald
Discussion Questions
Commonwealth Forum: Should Pennsylvania Abolish the Property Tax?
For More Information

Chapter 10: Researching the Commonwealth, Michelle J. Atherton and J. Wesley Leckrone

Contributors

About the Author(s)

J. Wesley Leckrone is an Associate Professor of Political Science, Widener University and Editor of Commonwealth: A Journal of Pennsylvania Politics and Policy.

Michelle J. Atherton is Associate Director of the Temple University Institute for Public Affairs and Associate Director of the Temple University Center on Regional Politics. She is Managing Editor of Commonwealth: A Journal of Pennsylvania Politics and Policy.


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