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PathWays PA Special Budget E-Alert - 17 February 2010

Budget Update

Last week, Governor Rendell announced his budget proposal for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. The deficit for the fiscal year is $525 million, compared to the $2 billion deficit last year.

The Governor's office also announced last week that some line items put into budgetary reserve in January 2010 would be released for spending. These line items total $32.7 million in funding for programs including spending for:

  • The Department of Agriculture: $2.05 million in total spending released, covering items such as farm safety, food marketing and research, and crop insurance
  • The Department of Public Welfare: $10 million in total spending released, including $4.2 million for acute care and $2.7 million for Healthcare Clinics. Some programs which had a 20 percent budget cut under the freeze (such as hospital based burn centers and Medical Assistance line items for Obstetrics and Neonatal care) had 10 percentage points of their budget restored.
  • The Department of Education: $4.5 million in total spending released, including $1.7 million on Mobile Science Education and $945,000 unfrozen for Regional Community Colleges and Higher Education Assistance.
  • The Department of Health: $4.6 million released, including $2.3 million for bio-technology research.
This is only a partial list of the items released. For a longer list, view this Capitolwire story (subscription needed).

Did You Know...

The Industry Partnership program has leveraged $55 Million in matching funds for its work in helping businesses create a skilled workforce?

If you or your clients have been impacted by the Industry Partnership program, please contact your state legislators today and let them know how important the program to you and to Pennsylvania.

Action Alert: Complete the United Way of PA Survey on Impact of Budget Cuts and Impasse

The United Way of Pennsylvania has released a new survey to measure the long-term impact of Pennsylvania's 2009 Budget Impasse and continued funding cuts on nonprofit organizations.

They need everyone's help to document the impact to make the case that funding health and human services is vital. The 2010 state budget negotiations ahead are expected to be extremely difficult. State revenues are well below projections from only a few months ago, and the legislature is showing little interest for expanding current revenue sources or increasing taxes to maintain funding levels for nonprofit services.

Please complete this important yet brief survey and share it with the organizations in your network.

Did You Know...

The greatest predictor of a child's future academic success is the literacy level of the child's mother?

Adult education and family literacy programs are especially important during this recession to ensure that families have the opportunity to gain the education they need to become self-sufficient. If you or your clients have been impacted by the need for literacy, please contact your state legislators today and let them know.

Urge Immediate Extension of State Fiscal Relief

While children and families felt the effects of budget cuts last year, the full impact of those cuts was avoided thanks to state fiscal relief passed by Congress and the President. This funding included having the federal government pay for more of the state's Medicaid costs (Federal Medical Assistance Percentages, or FMAP), among other items. Altogether, the program infused almost $4 billion into Pennsylvania over a 27-month period (which includes this fiscal year).

State fiscal relief was meant to be temporary, with expiration set for the end of 2010. However, Congress also expected that the economic recovery would be well underway by this point, which is far from the truth.

If you believe that fiscal relief needs to be extended, please sign on to this letter. Please also take a minute to call Senators Casey and Specter and your member of the U.S. House to urge the extension of FMAP.

Did You Know...

At least 16,000 families are on the waiting list to receive the child care subsidy?

The subsidy allows parents to afford to work by assisting them with the expense of child care. If you or your clients have been impacted by the need for child care, please contact your state legislators today and let them know.


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