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PathWays PA E-Newsletter: September 28, 2009

PA Budget

It is nearly October and Pennsylvania is still without a final budget. While there may be an agreement in the works, until a budget is passed and signed, counties, non-profits, schools, hospitals, and many other organizations will continue to struggle to make ends meet without funding.

Over a week ago, Governor Rendell held a press conference to announce his support of a modified version of the "three-caucus" budget proposal. While details are still emerging, it is expected that the budget will include:
  • $27.9 billion in spending - this is $400 million less in spending than in the last fiscal year. Without federal stimulus dollars, the budget would be about $2 billion less than last year.
  • Increased business taxes and cigarette tax rates (and the expansion of the cigarette tax to cigarillos)
  • Extension of the sales tax to theater and concert tickets
  • Table games at casinos
  • Increased education spending of about $300 million
Please continue to visit our PathWays PA Policy Blog for updates on the budget and other important policy issues. While there is much hope that we have reached the end of the budget impasse, there are no guarantees that this is the final version. Please continue to contact legislators and remind them of the programs that are important to Pennsylvania’s families.


Ask Your Senators to Strengthen and Support the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 (H.R. 3221)

The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act will provide significant investments in innovative community college programs leading to improved job skills and postsecondary credentials for millions of workers.

This important bill uses savings generated by the transition from a subsidized student loan program to a direct student loan program to provide significant new investments in our nation’s community colleges. Importantly, the bill expands the capacity of community colleges to respond to the rising demand for job training, and will help many workers gain critical skills needed so they can help rebuild our economy.

The House just passed the bill, and now the action moves to the Senate. Send a letter to your Senators asking them to strengthen and support this legislation.


United Way Survey

The United Way seeks your help in better defining the crisis facing nonprofit health and human service organizations in the Commonwealth because of the budget impasse. If your agency has experienced delays in receiving payments under state or local contracts, please complete this survey.

The information you provide here will be kept strictly confidential and will not be shared outside of the United Way.

Information from all agencies that respond will be aggregated, so that the United Way can better inform policymakers and the public about the serious challenge facing the network of community-based services in the Commonwealth.


Help the Pennsylvania Commission for Women Spread the Word about Breast Cancer Awareness

One in eight women in Pennsylvania will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Help change this by joining the Pennsylvania Commission for Women as they turn fountains hot pink to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Wednesday, September 30th noon - Harrisburg, State Capitol Fountain
Thursday, October 1st 10:00 am - Pittsburgh, Point State Park Fountain

New Tool: DataFinder

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) created a new tool, DataFinder, which makes it easy for advocates, policymakers and others to download and synthesize data about various programs and trends that affect low-income people and families.

The DataFinder currently includes state and national data on child care assistance spending and participation, Head State and Early Start participation, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) expenditures, young child demographics, and poverty. The tool also provides community-level statistics on education, demographics and youth violence. Examples of questions that can be answered with the DataFinder include:
  • What share of TANF spending goes to basic assistance in each state - and how has this changed in recent years?
  • How many children are served by Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care subsidies?
  • How many children are in extreme poverty in each state, and in selected communities?
  • What percent of students in distressed communities drop out of high school in ninth grade or complete high school on time?
CLASP will add more data to this evolving tool over time. To find this tool, please visit

Trauma and the Family: The Importance of Knowing for Consumers and Family Members

The impact of a traumatic event on a family member can have a ripple effect on the entire family. Adults and children can experience changes in their own lives as they respond to these events. This training will examine how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop after a traumatic event. There will also be discussions of strengths and positive coping styles.

WHEN: Tuesday October 27th, 2009 9:30 – 3:30 pm, continental breakfast included, one hour for lunch (on your own)

WHERE: Holiday Inn, 2175 W. Marlton Pike (Rt 70) Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
COST: $100 per person

To register or for more information please visit the Sources for Human Services website.

Register to Vote by October 5th

In order to vote in the November 3rd election, you must register to vote by October 5th.

Who are we voting for?
State Judges and Appellate Justices, City District Attorney, City Controller, Judges and Inspector of Elections, and Trial Judges including Common Pleas, Municipal, and Traffic Court Judges

For more information about the election, please click here. To find information about registering to vote, please click here.

Do You Need Help Paying for Post-Secondary Education?

PathWays PA offers Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), a matched savings program that offers financial education while helping you save for school. Through the program, your savings can be matched at a rate of three-to-one. If you save $500, we will give you an additional $1500 to go towards your school expenses.

Applicants must meet program income guidelines, be working (full or part time), and be enrolled or accepted into an accredited institution.

If you are interested or have any questions, please e-mail Greg Potestio at

Need Assistance With Public Benefits Applications?

PathWays PA provides assistance to those who need help applying for food stamps or other benefits. For further information, you can contact our office in Philadelphia 215-387-1470 or Delaware County 610-543-5022.

For more information about the services provided by PathWays PA please visit our website.


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Are You Registered to Vote?

As we get closer to the November elections, Google searches on how to register are increasing, which begs the question: Are you registered? Do you know how to sign up?

Pennsylvania and many other states require voter registration before Election Day - in Pennsylvania's case, voters must be registered one month ahead of time.  So if you recently moved, just turned 18, haven't voted in a while, or never registered before, the time to sign up is now.

PathWays PA has partnered with Rock the Vote to offer voter registration through this blog! You can fill out the form below to register or to make sure that you are registered.

Please take the time to register, and also consider pledging to vote in support of your economic values at!

PS - click here to share a voter registration link on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!

Register Now for National Audio Conferences on Job Scheduling

From our friends at CLASP Register now for three national audio conferences on job scheduling! Job schedules matter in many ways. For all workers, it helps when an employer is responsive to a request for a needed schedule change. And far too many workers have volatile and potentially destabilizing schedules. If you don't know when you are supposed to be at work until the last minute, how do you arrange child care or transportation? If your total hours fluctuate from week to week, how do you budget for rent and food? To address these issues and emerging policy opportunities, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is hosting and sponsoring three Job Schedules Matter audio conferences.

The conferences, which are co-sponsored by the Center for Popular Democracy and the National Women's Law Center, will include comments from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman George Miller on why they introduced the Schedules that Work Act. You'll also hear from workers about th…

Register for FRAC's Federal Nutrition Program Conference Calls

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) will host two public conference calls in October. Information on the calls follows below:
Breakfast Matters - Effective Messaging: Getting Positive Press in your Community

Thursday October 11, 3 – 4 pm ET
Click here to register.
Learn tips from a national communications firm about how to place your stories with local media and receive positive press coverage for your program.

Presenters: * Jon Dickl, School Nutrition Director, Knox County Schools, Tennessee
* Amber LaCroix, BRG Communications

Afterschool Meals Matter - Community Partnerships
Wednesday, October 17, at 1:00 pm EST

Click here to register.
Learn how you can connect with a myriad of community partners, from parent groups to corporate volunteer programs, who can offer you and your program their time, energy, and support. Community partners can assist you with meal preparation, programming, outreach to increase your participation, and ultimately to help build up community support and in…