The Edward H. Arnold Institute for Policy Studies

National Lawsuits Should Reflect Pennsylvania Consensus

By David A. Atkinson No matter which party holds the governorship, and no matter the political philosophy of the individual occupying the position, Pennsylvania is indisputably a strong governor state. This causes natural tension between the chief executive and the legislature, because it tilts the balance of power. Additional friction occurs when governors invariably have […]

Farmland Preservation – The Economic Gift That Keeps On Growing

By David A. Atkinson A recent program on WITF public radio celebrated the success of farmland preservation in Lancaster County, a cutting edge leader in securing the development rights to prime agricultural land. Over the past 33 years, the Lancaster Farmland Trust has made a substantial investment in ensuring agriculture is a staple way of […]

In Chasing The Grail Of More Competitive Legislative Races, Consider Multi-Member House Districts

By David A. Atkinson As state government watchers know, this is the high anxiety time in the political cycle when congressional and state legislative districts are being redrawn.  With the outcome establishing the electoral template for ten years of races, there is abundant anguished commentary about fairness, competitiveness, and community interest.  Nearly everyone has a […]

History Served Without Partisan Philosophical Seasoning

By David A. Atkinson The name Susquehanna Valley Center for Public Policy represents truth in advertising.  Our mission is to inform citizens and decisionmakers of thoughtful conservative perspectives on the choices facing Pennsylvania in every field of endeavor, from economy and energy to education and environment.  We seek to dig deeper than headlines and slogans […]

Time To Give Pennsylvanians Full License To Drive The Legislative Agenda?

David Atkinson The Pennsylvania Constitution is the remarkable operating manual for the commonwealth.  It grants powers and sets limits on state government.  It clearly delineates the guaranteed rights of citizens, which are more numerous than those contained in the federal Bill of Rights.  The environmental declaration is a fine illustration. Our state Constitution is much […]

Praising Academic Leadership Of The Highest Order

David A. Atkinson In recent years, it is not easy finding news stories reflecting positively on Pennsylvania’s fourteen state-owned universities.  This cannot be dismissed as fake news, for there are challenges and difficulties aplenty.  Critics complain about rising tuition and declining enrollment.  They question how long it takes some students to attain a degree, and […]

Townships Support Local Advertising Reform That Saves Taxpayer Dollars And Increases Transparency

David M. Sanko Harrisburg is considering a new law that would give townships and other local governments in Pennsylvania the authority to place legal advertising on local government websites and in community papers, in addition to the traditional advertising in local newspapers. The proposed House bill would give our member townships the flexibility to determine which […]

Say Thanks To Your Township Supervisor!

By David M. Sanko       You may read about them in the newspaper or see them along local roads, plowing snow in the winter or patching potholes in the spring.       They’re your township supervisors and staff, and while you may not know them personally, these public servants show up each and every day with […]

Pennsylvania Needs Another ‘Shot in the Arm’ with Broadband Access Expansion

By David M. Sanko, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors             Pennsylvania, like many other states, has a digital divide that separates the haves from the have-nots. And at no other time has this divide seemed wider than in the last year when the COVID pandemic brought the demand for internet […]

A Needed Civics Education About The United States Supreme Court

Widespread concern has been expressed about the declining nature of our national debates, with civility, good sense, and semblance of truth being counted as the foremost casualties.  No better illustration of the problem exists than that farcical first so-called debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.  An even greater worry is how decreasing emphasis on […]