Does Michael Lamb want to put the Pittsburgh Promise up for sale? He wants to ask the state assembly to tax non-profits in the city of Pittsburgh. (Why hasn't anyone done this before?) However, this is clearly a fine line to walk. UPMC is to Pittsburgh is like China is to the USA. We're indebted to them and vice-versa, but ultimately at this point, they hold a lot of the cards.
Over the next 10 years, UPMC, the region's uber-employer, has promised to donate a ton of money to the Pittsburgh Promise, but from the beginning they have been threatening to withhold their generous contributions if Pittsburgh pursues taxing non-profits. However, UPMC theoretically has the ability to pull its money out for any reason - the bad economy, sinking profits, a bad night's sleep. US Steel's recent pausing of work on the Clairton coke plant is as harsh a reminder as any that corporations often break promises. Taxes are a lot more reliable. And theoretically, there's nothing stopping the city redirecting tax money towards the Pittsburgh Promise. Of course, as long as Ravenstahl is in office, I expect any extra money to be diverted towards trash cans.