It is now over a month past the due date for the Commonwealth's budget. Reports indicate that the House-Senate Conference Committee will meet this afternoon to discuss budget negotiations, and various press conferences are expected in the afternoon as well. Governor Rendell has asked Conference Committee members to go "line by line" through the budget, though Committee members have not yet agreed to this approach. It is incredibly important to keep reminding your legislators of what programs Pennsylvania cannot afford to cut.
Last week, Governor Rendell signed a "bridge" budget that allowed state workers to begin receiving paychecks and some essential services to receive funds. However, many institutions and organizations that rely on state funding will continue to go without until the remainder of the budget is passed. Meanwhile, 300 state workers are expected to be laid off today and tomorrow, and as many as 800 may be laid off in coming weeks. Some vacant positions will also be eliminated.
As negotiations continue, many important programs still face elimination or substantial budget decreases. If you are upset about these budget proposals, which include cuts ranging from libraries to education to hospitals to the elimination of the Industry Partnership program, please tell your legislators how you would finish this sentence: "If the choice is between reducing/eliminating spending on hospitals, burn units, Industry Partnerships, and childcare, or increasing revenues, I would support..."
During this recession, some budget cuts are inevitable. But too many cuts will lead to long-term impacts on our families, our health, and our economy at a time when we can't afford to do without. Please ask your legislators to help end this impasse in a way that does not hurt children and families in Pennsylvania.
Budget Rally in Media, PA, on August 11 at 12 PM
Protect families, children and investments in stronger communities by raising your voice for a state budget that supports Pennsylvania!
Tuesday, August 11, 12 noon
Media, PA, Courthouse, 201 Front Street (Front Street and Veteran's Square)
Featuring speakers from education, child care, business, housing, prevention services, health, children's healthcare, disability rights, community development, the arts and more!
Action Alert: Establish a Consumer Financial Protection Agency
As families work to regain their financial footing, they need access to safe financial products. The Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), which was introduced in legislation in July, would protect families from unfair, deceptive, and abusive lending practices and ensure the safety of financial products.
Your legislators need to hear from you. They need to hear that constituents want and need the CFPA. Please call, email, or meet with your Legislator during the August recess and make sure that your voice is heard. Our friends at NCTC are offering a variety of information and advice:
Call your Representative and Senators (if you did send a letter, it's always great to follow up with a call)
Meet with your Legislators while they are back in their district offices for the month of August.
News and Information
Dear Jane Campaign
The Business and Professional Women's Foundation (BPW) is asking for help from women veterans. BPW is asking them to reach out to women service members currently overseas by sending them letters of advice on how to best transition from the military to the civilian workforce. The service women are coming home to employers and communities that are unsure of how to interpret and integrate their impressive military skills and experiences.
How to write a Dear Jane Letter:
If you would like to write a letter, please make it between 300-1000 words answering any or all of the questions above, or add your own lessons-learned. Please include your name, rank and dates of service and sign your letter. Anonymous letters are okay, but the power of your name is preferred; if anonymous, please include your rank and dates of service. The deadline for letters is AUGUST 31, 2009.
Please send the letters to email@example.com; subject: Dear Jane Campaign. Also attach your electronic signature; email if you need assistance.
Free Workshop - Learners to Leaders
The Montgomery County Foundation, Inc is presenting a free, full day workshop for a limited group of people age 55+ interested in being part of a community-building pilot project in Montgomery County.
WHEN: September 16 9:00-4:00
WHERE: The Montgomery County Foundation, Inc. 2 West Lafayette Street, Third Floor Conference Room Norristown, PA (Located next to SEPTA Regional Hub. Free parking at site - Parking lot code is 136*)
· Learn how to apply your energy and expertise to support Montgomery County's citizens in need of your attention;
· Learn how to maximize your effectiveness as a volunteer within housing, hunger, literacy, domestic violence, workforce development and senior at-home and community support nonprofit agencies whose staffs have been trained to welcome your contributions;
· Learn how to use your skills in a way that meets these organizations' missions and is deeply satisfying to you.
Who Should Attend the LEARNERS to LEADERS Workshop:
· Those aged 55+ interested in an opportunity to make the most of linking their volunteer aspirations with nonprofits that address barriers to personal and economic self-sufficiency;
· Those committed also to attend the LEARNERS to LEADERS Matching Event on Thursday, October 15 - 9:00am-noon for the chance to hear presentations from previously trained nonprofit agencies (noted below) where they will highlight their volunteer opportunities for consideration;
· And lastly, those committed to participating in a follow-up evaluation session focused on modifying the pilot project for potential replication in the county and beyond.
Space is limited. To register, please call 610.313.9836 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by August 27, 2009. (PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED)
Healthcare Townhalls Being Held in Pennsylvania
While Congress is in recess, legislators will be crisscrossing their home states to get feedback on health care reform. Here in Pennsylvania, townhalls will be occurring this week in the following locations: