Monday, September 14, 2009

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: September 14, 2009

PA Budget

Last week, members of the House/Senate State Budget Conference Committee announced that they have a tentative deal on the budget. This deal, expected to be at a funding level of $27.9 billion, is said to raise $1.2 billion in what the leaders are calling "recurring revenue" and $2.1 billion in one-time revenue sources. New revenues sources are to come from the combination of a hike on the tax on cigarettes, legalization of casino table games, and higher taxes on businesses. Some fear that this compromise only postpones the budget problems instead of solving them. The Conference Committee is schedule to meet today.

In the meantime, preschools and other pre-kindergarten programs continue to shut their doors, along with child care centers and many other state programs. If you work for one of these organizations or if the services you rely on have been cut, please tell your story! Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, or tell your story to PathWays PA. We will share these stories on our blog and in our e-newsletters.

If you are upset about the budget proposals, which include cuts ranging from 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 cannot afford to do without.


State

Industry Partnership Program

Unfortunately, the importance and critical need of the Industry Partnership Program is getting lost in the state budget reporting. Right now there is no funding included for this important program in some of the budgets being proposed.

Take Action! Industry Partnerships are consortiums that allow employers to improve and expand their workforce by bringing together companies committed to the development of their workforce.
  • This program provides workers with access to training that gives them the skills necessary to maintain jobs and obtain employment with sufficient wages so workers can adequately support their families.
  • In Pennsylvania, more than 6,300 businesses are involved with more than 70 Industry Partnerships across the state. More than 70,000 workers have been trained since 2005.
  • On average, those workers have seen their wages rise by 6.62 percent within the first year after receiving the training.
  • Read more about how the Industry Partnership program is helping in one county
  • Please see two recent posts on the PathWays PA Policy Blog - Recent Op Ed: Killing Industry Partnership workforce training would be bad for Pa. and Another Op-Ed in Support of Industry Partnerships.

Join the Southeastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Essential Services

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Essential Services is a broad-based coalition of over 80 nonprofits, local government, and private sector agencies that provide essential services to improve the quality of life for people of this region. Pennsylvania’s budget impasse is having a devastating impact on vulnerable members of our communities and the organizations and agencies that serve them. Proposed cuts to Pennsylvania’s 2009-2010 budget will limit our ability to meet the needs of our communities over the next year and will cause permanent damage to our region’s safety net.

Recent Media on Coalition Efforts:
We need the Governor and the General Assembly to end the budget impasse as quickly as possible.

What Can You Do:
  1. Join us! Your voice is urgently needed to persuade elected officials to do what is best for our communities. To participate in the coalition and become a sponsoring organization, send the attached sponsorship form to Jennine Miller at jmiller@projecthome.org or 215.232.7272
  2. Write your elected official. Please take a moment to write your state senator and let them know how the state budget impasse and proposed budget cuts are impacting you, your family and community. Easy tools are available here and here.


Information/Events

Fund Education Now Rally

Research shows that young children who are exposed to high-quality education, starting with pre-K, achieve a higher level of behavioral, emotional and cognitive development that increases their chances of advancing through school. They score better on standardized tests, have greater academic success, experience fewer grade retentions, need less special education remediation and are more likely to graduate from high school.

Come join parents, teachers, administrators and other education advocates who will meet in Sharon Hill at the main campus of Today’s Child Learning Centers. They will share their experiences with state-funded education and voice their support for funding for education initiatives such as Pre-K Counts, Head Start Supplemental, Child Care Works, adult and youth literacy and others.

When: September 14, 2009, 5:00pm
Where: Today’s Child Learning Centers -- Main Campus, 235 Sharon Ave. Sharon Hill, PA 19079

Today’s Child, along with its partners in this event are calling on Governor Rendell and the General Assembly to find more dollars to increase funding for education programs over previous levels in 2009-10.


Support Group for Parents of Children/Youth with Behavior and Emotional Health Challenges

Join the Parents Involved Network (PIN) and see how they can help you to make a difference in your child’s life. Become skilled at self-empowerment, by learning the ropes of self-advocacy through sharing your experience and networking with others in a similar situation.

The group will be meeting at the Myers Recreation Center, 588 Kinsessing Avenue, Philadelphia PA, from 6:00-8:00 PM.

Group Topics:

09/24/09 Being able to cope while knowing your child has a disability

10/22/09 Learning to communicate effectively with your teens

11/19/09 The power of communication and knowing your rights as a parent

For more information call Cynthia Garrett at 215-751-1800 Ext. 267


Another Casualty of the Budget - Bridging the Pennsylvania Network: Linking Food Production and Distribution with Food Security Forum Cancelled

The September 16th Pennsylvania Hunger Network Forum has been postponed. Organizers of the Forum announced that with the continuing State Budget Impasse and the national economy still struggling, many organizations (especially small ones) simply could not afford to attend. As a result, registration was not at a level conducive to holding the forum.


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.


Support Earned Sick Days in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia!

Support the paid sick days campaign in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia!
Become our friend! Show your support for earned sick time by visiting Facebook. Visit this link to support earned sick time in Pennsylvania, and visit this link to support earned sick time in Philadelphia. Support both!

Tell us your story! Are you a parent who lost their job to stay home with a sick child? Are you a business owner who provides/supports paid sick days? Email your story to us at policy@pathwayspa.org.

Call your Representatives! If you live in Philadelphia, call your City Councilperson and urge them to support "Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces," which guarantees earned sick time for all working Philadelphians. Not sure who your City Councilperson is? Click on this link and type in your home address to find out which district you live in: http://www.phila.gov/citycouncil/districtform/districtform.html.

If you live in Pennsylvania (but outside of Philadelphia), call your state Representative. Tell him/her you support earned sick time for workers. Not sure who your Representative is? Simply type your address here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/find.cfm.

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