Monday, October 5, 2009

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: October 5, 2009

PA Budget

Pennsylvania has been without a budget for 97 days now.

On Friday evening, the House approved a revised revenue package to fund a $27.9 billion state budget. The package made changes to the agreement reached among three caucuses and the Governor two weeks ago and instead includes:
  • a tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco
  • a tax on the natural gas extraction
  • a 25 cent increase in the cigarette tax
  • an increase some business taxes

The revised plan does not include the originally agreed upon sales tax on tickets to cultural events or levies on small games of chance. The plan now goes to the Senate where it appears that many members oppose the revised plan.

While the Conference Committee is schedule to meet again today, there is also some speculation that yet a third budget plan may be emerging. There are few details on the plan so far, but please visit us on our blog or follow us on Twitter for the latest information as it emerges.


United Way Survey: How the Budget is Impacting the Nonprofit Community


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. Thursday marks the 100th day of the budget impasse and it is critical that legislators understand how this is truly impacting our communities.

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.



Federal

Help Expand Federal Hate Crimes Law to Include Protections Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

We are on the verge of enacting a critically important legislative priority, the expansion of the federal hate crimes law to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This effort is included in the Defense Authorization Bill.

Please call your members of Congress today and ask them to vote in favor of the Defense Authorization Bill to send inclusive hate crimes legislation to President Obama for his signature.

Please contact your Representatives and Senators and ask them to support this critical piece of legislation.


State

Help Expand Funding for the Philadelphia House Trust Fund – Urge House Appropriations Committee Members to Support HB 1645

The Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund was created four years ago to provide a local source of funding to expand affordable housing opportunities. The funding came from an increase in the Deed and Mortgage Recording Fees. These additional resources were dedicated to addressing Philadelphia’s local housing needs.

The Trust Fund has since provided support for more than 4,000 families and individuals while leveraging over $281 million in additional funding to support the development of 1,279 new affordable homes, repair of 1,200 existing homes, and assisted 1,583 families to stay in their homes through foreclosure and homelessness prevention programs.

However, due to the drop off in the real estate market, this source of funding has declined significantly. State legislation has been introduced that would enable Philadelphia to raise its Deed and Mortgage Recording Fees to support the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund when the City raises such fees for the General Fund. The bill is currently awaiting action in the House Appropriations Committee.

Please contact members on the House Appropriations Committee and urge them to move this bill as soon as possible.

For more information, please contact James White (PACDC) at 215-732-5829 or jwhite@pacdc.org.



Tell the Rendell Administration: We Support Home Care and the Consumer Workforce Council!

Pennsylvania's largest senior organizations, disability rights groups, and healthcare workers' organizations have come together to expand and protect home care for all Pennsylvanians by supporting the Consumer Workforce Council, which will:
  • Expand home care options for seniors and people with disabilities
  • Ensure that the direct care attendants that support them have the living wages and health benefits they deserve
Our families deserve retainable, reliable home care and the workers that provide home care services need health care benefits and a living wage so they can stay on the job.

Click here to send a letter to Governor Rendell to urge him to support the Consumer Workforce Council.


Information/Events

Today is the Last Day to Register to Vote

In order to vote in the November 3rd election, you must register to vote by midnight on 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.


ShareUrMeal

Please join the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and dininginfo.com in celebrating the launch of the ShareUrMeal program, a new way to give back to those less fortunate.

ShareUrMeal invites you to share a story about a recent dining experience through the dininginfo.com site. For every story you share, dollars and dinners will be donated to local non-profits with the goal of reducing hunger in the Philadelphia area.

Come meet the team of over 15 volunteers behind this project, celebrate the launch, and learn how you can make a difference.

WHEN: October 5th, from 6:00 to 8:00
WHERE: The Academic Bistro at Drexel University, 101 N. 33rd Street, Academic Building, 6th Floor, Philadelphia

To register or find out more information about this event please click here.


Open Discussion with Harriet Dichter, Deputy Secretary, Office of Child Development & Early Learning

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning will be hosting Open Discussion with Harriet Dichter, Deputy Secretary, Office of Child Development & Early Learning, throughout Pennsylvania in the months of October and November. Members of the early childhood education community are invited to attend.
  • October 7, 2:30 - 4:00, Penn State (Centre County)
  • October 23, 12:30 to 2:00, Pittsburgh PATTAN (Allegheny County)
  • October 30, 9:00 to 10:30, Philadelphia location TBA (Philadelphia County)
  • November 13, 10:00 to 11:30, Scranton location TBA (Lackawanna County)
  • November 19, 9:30 to 11:00, Harrisburg PATTAN (Dauphin County)
  • November 20, 8:30 to 10:00, Smethport location TBA (McKean County)
Please RSVP by sending an email to RA-dpwocdnet@state.pa.us. Please note the day and location of the meeting you wish to attend in the Subject line of your email.


Events at The Women’s Resource Center

Please see a list of upcoming events being held by the Women’s Resource Center:
  • The Mothers' Support Group in Wayne started this week, but you still have a chance to sign up. Meet other mothers in the area and learn about parenting in a supportive and confidential environment. Childcare and dinner are included. Call to register: 610-687-6391
  • Join other moms in Phoenixville--starting October 14th--or Darby--starting October 6th-- for their Parenting Support Groups. Call to register: 610-687-6391
  • Know any women who are looking for a job? Let them know about Career Guidance Over Coffee (Upstairs @ The Gryphon) and their Individual Career Consultation. Call to register: 610-687-6391.
For information about the Resource Center or more information about these events please visit http://www.womensresourcecenter.net.


iPledge Campaign Launch for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Please join us Thursday for the iPledge Campaign Launch!

WHEN: Thursday, October 8th, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: 33rd & Market Streets, Drexel University

Join us as we launch the 2nd annual iPledge Campaign to raise awareness to domestic violence. This exciting community event will include Mayor Michael Nutter, State Senator LeAnna Washington, MoShay LaRen of WRNB 107.9, student performers, live music, free refreshments and give-aways!

Learn more and sign your pledge against violence at iPledgeWAA.org.


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 gpotestio@pathwayspa.org.


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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