The Edward H. Arnold Institute for Policy Studies

Shuffling Cards No Guarantee State Universities Hold A Better Hand In Enrollment Poker Game; Fresh Dice Do Not Mean A Fairer Funding Craps Shoot

By David A. Atkinson Fourteen state-owned universities are not out of proportion to Pennsylvania’s population, economic stature, or legacy of affordable higher education options. If anything, this may well constitute underrepresentation. For a parallel, look to when the community colleges were created during the 1960s. The prospective map called for twenty-eight. Yet only fourteen were […]

Pennsylvania Benefits When The Religious-Minded Participate in Policy Debates

The intersection of religion and politics is never clear of emotional disputes over lanes and right of way. Even at that, there is growing intensity to debates these days about the appropriateness of religious groups and individuals motivated by faith setting up shop in the public square. This question requires sorting through prominent misconceptions. To […]

Team Play Concept in Politics Far Removed From Sports

By David A. Atkinson A recent quote from Erie state Senator Dan Laughlin reveals more about the troubles in state politics than he perhaps intended. His statement is a refreshingly candid assertion: “One of the things that disappoints me the most about politics is that it’s a little bit too much of a team sport. […]

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 […]