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Showing posts from June, 2010

PathWays PA Special Budget E-Alert - June 30, 2010

State Budget – Budget Due Today

The Agreement

A budget deal between the four legislative caucuses and Governor Rendell was reached yesterday.

The agreed-to spending plan, which must still find approval from rank-and-file members in the House and Senate, would spend about $28.05 billion, nearly $1 billion less than the Governor’s original request for a $29 billion budget. If enacted, the new budget would spend about six-tenths of one percent more than the current fiscal year, which allocated about $27.9 billion.

While the agreement was reach, there are still potential hurdles. In particular, the budget assumes $850 million in extended FMAP funding from the federal government, which has yet to be approved. The Governor indicated that if FMAP money is not forthcoming, the state layoffs needed to offset that deficit would be devastating. Also, groups receiving funding should understand that if FMAP does not come through, there will have to be cuts made to many programs and human services.

Proposed 2010-2011 State Budget Line Items

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Thanks to @Capitol_Ideas for sending out the budget line items! Selected items are below:

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center and others have reported that the final budget includes the following cuts:
7.5 percent cut ($15.3 million) to Executive Offices11.7 percent cut ($7.9 million) to agriculture programs10 percent cut ($9.2 million) to the Department of Labor and Industry9.2 percent cut ($14.6 million) to the Department of Environmental Protection11 percent cut ($10.2 million) to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources9.1 percent cut ($5.5 million) to library funding

More on the Proposed 2010-2011 Budget

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(You can also view selected line items on our blog or an updated spreadsheet of line items as a PDF. The updated spreadsheet includes differences between the 2009-2010 budget and the 2010-2011 budget.)

A budget deal between the four legislative caucuses and Governor Rendell was reached Tuesday.

The agreed-to spending plan, which must still find approval from rank-and-file members in the House and Senate, would spend about $28.05 billion, nearly $1 billion less than the Governor’s original request for a $29 billion budget. If enacted, the new budget would spend about six-tenths of one percent more than the current fiscal year, which allocated about $27.9 billion.

As reported by PLS, Governor Rendell said there are still “potential storm clouds” that could affect the agreement. In particular, the budget assumes $850 million in extended FMAP funding from the federal government which has yet to be approved. The Governor indicated that if FMAP money is not forthcoming, the state layoffs ne…

Tentative Budget Deal on the Eve of the Budget Deadline

With the budget deadline tomorrow, legislators and the Governor have been meeting around the clock. There appears to be a tentative agreement on a $28.05 billion budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

It has been reported that the deal includes a $250 million increase in funding for basic education and a severance tax on natural gas extraction, to go into effect in January of 2011. While this agreement includes a 1 percent increase in spending from the current budget there has been indication that it also includes cuts of 3 percent to 10 percent for some programs and services. Additionally the plan relies on $850 million in extended FMAP funding that has yet to pass Congress.

While a tentative agreement may have been reached, it is still important to reach out to legislators to let them know what programs are crucial and cannot see anymore cuts. Please contact your legislators and urge them to continue to remember the needs of all families in this budget, especially around needs …

Summer Meals Directory Published

Each summer tens of thousands of Philadelphia children go without the school breakfasts and lunches they rely on. To ensure that children do not go hungry, free meals or snacks will be available to low-income children at more than a thousand recreation centers, churches, schools, parks, and community centers through out Philadelphia.

The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger has published a directory of programs offering free meals for children in Philadelphia this summer. To find a summer meals program you can:
Download the 2010 Philadelphia Summer Meals Directory Find your nearest site on the Philadelphia Summer Meals Map Or call 311, the City's Information Hotline, for further assistance
With more than 1,000 sites providing free summer meals in Philadelphia, no child should go hungry this summer.

Delaware County Times Letters: Adults need education, too

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To the Times:

As this year’s 2010 Governor’s Conference on Higher Education is held in Lancaster, it is important to remember that recent high school graduates are not the only group in need of higher education.

Since two-thirds of the 2020 work force has already exited high school, the needs of adult students must be considered as well. We urge state and local governments, school districts and community colleges to explore how best to work with adult students so they can earn the wages and education they need.

As we note in our new report, “Pennsylvania’s Workforce: The Role of Community Colleges,” affordable educational opportunities through community colleges and work force development agencies must continue to be made affordable and accessible to workers across Pennsylvania.

Many local work-force investment boards are looking at ways to extend new educational opportunities to workers and the unemployed by increasing the eligibility limits for services, while community colleges are…

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: June 28, 2010

The Time for Paid Sick Days Is Now: Survey Shows Overwhelming Public Support for a Paid Sick Days Workplace Standard

A new survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and commissioned by the Public Welfare Foundation demonstrates that lack of access to paid sick days has significant negative consequences for public health, health care costs, and families’ financial security. The survey also shows that overwhelming majorities support paid sick days laws as a matter of basic labor policy.

The survey results could not be clearer: It is time for policymakers to guarantee access to paid sick days to the over 40 million U.S. workers who currently lack them. Workers should not have to risk their jobs to care for their families and should not have to risk their own-well-being—and the public’s health—to do their jobs.

If you believe paid sick days is an important issue, please contact your federal, state, and (if in Philadelphia) local legislators an…

Another Gender Gap: Paid Sick Days

Crossposted from the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces blog

Earlier this week, a new survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and commissioned by the Public Welfare Foundation was released. The survey demonstrates that the lack of access to paid sick days not only has significant negative consequences for public health, health care costs, and families’ financial security, but also that women disproportionately lack it as a benefit.

While 71 percent of men surveyed had paid sick days, only 57 percent of women reported having the same benefit. In recent months we have seen that, for the first time, women make up half of the workforce. Now, however, we see that just as there is a gender gap in wages, there appears to be one in sick time as well. The fields where a majority of the workers are women are unfortunately less likely to offer such benefits as paid sick days, while women are still more likely to be the primary care giver f…

Testimony on HB 2400 Regarding Unemployment Compensation

Testimony at Public Hearing Regarding Unemployment Compensation presented by Carol Goertzel, President/CEO of PathWays PA June 16, 2010.

Good morning members of Labor Relations Committee, and thank you for allowing us to testify today. My name is Carol Goertzel, and I am President and CEO of PathWays PA, an agency that has been committed to keeping families together and providing both advocacy and services to and on behalf of at-risk children, teens, women, and families for over thirty years. We work directly with over 6,000 individuals each year.

Based on our experiences, we know that families are struggling every day to make ends meet, and the struggle has only been getting harder during this recession. As state government works to keep up with demand, we are here today on behalf of HB 2400, which as you know was introduced by Representative Marc Gergely. We have worked closely with Representive Gergely on several issues and appreciate his, as well as this committee’s, hard work…

Young Parents Support Network

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In collaboration with the Center Foundation, PathWays PA is actively recruiting clients for the Young Parents Support Network (YPSN). The YPSN is a program that provides mentoring services to young mothers and fathers, which eases the transition to self-sufficiency.

Clients enrolled in YPSN receive invaluable support from adult mentors along with financial education and career development training. Clients participate in workshops developed by PathWays PA, such as job readiness and financial awareness. “A career counselor helps a client find resources, such as school, training and classes which will allow them to obtain better paying jobs with benefits,” explains Tonya Diggs of PathWays PA. “Without counseling and guidance it becomes a terrible cycle of taking dead-end jobs without benefits and opportunities for upward mobility, which in turn leaves little room for one to become self-sufficient.”

The YPSN program also offers fun and informative family oriented activities for enrollee…

PathWays PA Special Budget E-Alert - June 23, 2010

State Budget – 7 Days Until Budget Deadline


The Governor is scheduled to meet with legislative leaders today to discuss a budget with no new revenue sources, only program cuts. The Governor has agreed to review a “cuts-only” proposal and identify which cuts he accepts and those he does not.

A major issue facing legislators is what the final spend number will be, which is unfortunately difficult to determine when the parties do not know how much money will be available to spend next year. It is estimated that the state has $27.5 billion to spend but that depends on whether Congress extended the FMAP program.  Without passage of FMAP, there will be an additional gap of $850 million for Pennsylvania. (See our Action Alert on extending FMAP below.)

Good News for PA: The Tax Amnesty Program Surpassed its Goal

For almost two months, the state has been urging individuals who are delinquent on their taxes to pay what they owe without penalty and only half the interest due. The state hoped t…

PathWays PA Job Postings - June 22, 2010

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Residential Worker
Need caring and motivated individual to provide support and supervision for Delco group home serving women and children; HS/GED, Associates Degree and experience preferred; driver’s license required. Includes nights and weekends. Fax resumes to: LP/LD/CFF 610-328-2807.

Trauma-informed Therapists
PathWaysPA is seeking quality therapists to provide trauma-informed therapeutic services to women, teen mothers and teen girls in their homes. Must be trained-in trauma-informed services and be familiar with the S.E.L.F. model; must also be comfortable addressing sexual abuse and domestic violence issues. Flexible hours required. LSW and credentialed/eligible to be credentialed to provide services to CBH members required. Philadelphia and some DELCO area. Full time and Part time position available. Fax resumes to: BD/LD 610-328-2807

Live-in Advisor
To provide guidance, direction and supervision to older adolescent teen mothers and teen girls residing in our Super…

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: June 21, 2010

PathWays PA Offers Expedited Career Path to First Responders and EMT

PathWays PA is offering eligible job seekers free education and training to achieve certification as a First Responder followed by Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification.

Successful candidates will have:
Achieved qualifying scores on WorkKeys® Assessment Clean criminal background check No back problems or physical restrictions The ability to lift 125 pounds 33 inches off the ground and carry for 10 feet Willingness to working with and touch all people A valid drivers license (or the ability to obtain one during training) Ability to pay attention to detail and flexibility to change course as circumstances warrant Willingness to work different shifts and weekendsIf the above qualifications are met, then an individual may be eligible for the training, which includes:
6 weeks of Math/English Skills building classes CPR Training and Certification 50 hours of First Responder Training  77 hours of EMT training ove…

Share Your Caregiving Story with CARIE

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From our friends at CARIE

Do you care for an older adult?
Has your loved one been in the hospital?

If you are or have been the caregiver of an older adult who was admitted to the hospital, CARIE would like to talk to you about your experience and what would have been helpful before and after the hospital discharge.

A caregiver is anyone who is responsible for the physical, emotional, or financial well being of an older adult.

This project will help CARIE understand caregiver needs; you will also receive a small stipend for your participation.

If you are interested and willing to share your story with us, please contact Marta Cuciurean-Zapan at 215.545.5728 or by email at cuciurean@carie.org.

CARIE is a non-profit organization committed to improving the lives, well being, and autonomy of older adults. To learn more, please visit http://www.carie.org/.

Help Support the Industry Partnership Program

Industry Partnership legislation has been introduced in the Senate - it is Senate Bill 1409. Please help to ensure that this legislation moves through the Senate so it can be signed into law by the governor.

Please contact your Senator and ask him or her to co-sponsor SB1409 and to support it when it comes up for a vote.

When you make your call and/or send your e-mail, please make sure to communicate that:

Industry Partnerships have been remarkably successful in addressing the needs of both businesses and workers in the Commonwealth. More than 5,000 businesses have reported significant improvements in productivity and more than 70,000 workers have benefited from training, with average wage gains of 6.6% in one year. Industry Partnerships deliver a high return on investment by achieving economies of scale in the design and delivery of training and increasing the effectiveness of other public and private investments in training Industry Partnerships have strong business support with ov…

PathWays PA Special Budget E-Alert - June 16, 2010

State Budget – 14 Days Until Budget Deadline

With just 2 weeks until the June 30 deadline passage of the state budget, yesterday the House began to debate House Bill 325. This bill would raise revenue by imposing a severance tax on the natural gas removed from the Marcellus Shale, a tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco, and an increase in the tax on cigarettes. After much debate, there were not enough votes for this bill to pass and it was sent back to the House Appropriations Committee.

Governor Rendell has called a budget negotiation meeting for today where he will work with the four caucuses to try to make progress toward completing the state budget.


House Considers Limits to Public-Sector Pensions

Today, the House passed a bill to address the rising cost of Pennsylvania's two large government pension plans.

The bill included an amendment that would:
Raise the standard retirement age to 65 for both the Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) and the State Em…

Conference Call: Voter Participation Basics for Nonprofits

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From our friends at Nonprofit VOTE:

Please join Nonprofit VOTE for a special web training event:
"Voter Participation Basics for Nonprofits"
Thursday, July 1st
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM ET

Topics will include principles and ideas for doing voter registration, voter education, engaging the candidates and getting out the vote in the course of activities nonprofits already do. There will be opportunities for question and answers throughout the training.


The webinar will also highlight sources for voter participation materials and resources.

(Image from Nonprofit VOTE e-alert)

New From IRS.gov - Affordable Care Act Provides Expanded Tax Benefit to Health Professionals Working in Underserved Areas

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From the IRS Newsletter:
WASHINGTON — As part of a larger Administration announcement on efforts to strengthen the health care workforce, the Internal Revenue Service today announced that under the Affordable Care Act health care professionals who received student loan relief under state programs that reward those who work in underserved communities may qualify for refunds on their 2009 federal income tax returns as well as an annual tax cut going forward.

“Doctors and nurses who choose to practice in underserved areas make a great contribution to their local communities,” Commissioner Doug Shulman said. “By expanding the tax exclusion for student loan forgiveness, the Affordable Care Act provides an even greater incentive to practice medicine in areas that need it most.”
To learn more, see the latest IRS newsletter.  You can also read more about other tax provisions in the act.

Image courtesy of  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stethoscope-2.jpg.

Carol Goertzel's Letter to the Editor: "Many in the state have no access to community colleges"

Thank you for your recent coverage regarding the benefits of the Community College of Allegheny County ("Community College Touts Impact on Local Economy," June 1). In it, you note the return on investment received from funding of the college.

It is important to note that, throughout Pennsylvania, not all residents have the opportunities to attend community college or benefit from the economic impact that results. As we note in our new report, "Pennsylvania's Workforce: The Role of Community Colleges," adults in 30 Pennsylvania counties do not have access to a community college campus or learning center....
Read the full letter and tell us what you think!

Community College Paper Featured on What Matters

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Click here to subscribe to "what matters."

Pathways report highlight community collegesIn today's troubled economy, access to good jobs and wages has become more important than ever, creating another reason for Pennsylvania to take action to ensure more students can afford and access community college education and the increased earnings potential it provides.In a new report, Pennsylvania's Workforce: The Role of Community Colleges examines the impact that community colleges and other workforce development can have on the earnings of Pennsylvanians.By 2014, 51 percent of all jobs in Pennsylvania will require some college, though not a four-year degree (also known as "middle skills" education). As of 2008, only 22 percent of Pennsylvanians age 25 and over fit into the middle skills category.
Go here to view or download the report.

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: June 14, 2010

New PathWays PA Paper – Pennsylvania's Workforce: The Role of Community Colleges

PathWays PA is proud to announce the release of a new paper that examines the impact that community colleges and other workforce development can have on the earnings of Pennsylvanians.

While many students enter college straight from high school, a growing number of students need access to higher education after they have already entered the workforce. Nationally, 2/3rds of the 2020 workforce has already graduated from high school, but they have not all gone on to higher education. Pennsylvania ranks 3rd highest in the country for the number of adults (age 18-64) whose formal education ended with a high school diploma or GED.

By 2014, 51 percent of all jobs in Pennsylvania will require some college, though not a four-year degree (also known as "middle skills" education). As of 2008, only 22 percent of Pennsylvanians age 25 and over fit into the middle skills category.

Pennsylvania's …