Posts

Showing posts from August, 2010

Effect of FMAP Cut on Line Items in PA's Budget - Courtesy of The Advocate's Agenda

Image
From The Advocate's Agenda, published by Cathleen Palm.  To sign up, please email Cathy at cpalm@theadvocatesagenda.com.  You can also go directly to the state budget website to see all line items in the newest budget.

August 31st – Two weeks ago Governor Rendell announced that he was “effectuating” his plan to plug the $282 million state spending deficit that exists as a result of Congress passing a smaller than promised enhanced federal Medicaid match rate (FMAP).

Included in Rendell’s plan was the decision to place approximately $200 million in recently enacted spending into budgetary reserve – a process Rendell assured meant that the “money will never be spent.”

Today, the Rendell Administration unveiled the appropriations that will be impacted by some percentage of a cut. While Rendell in mid August implied reductions would be across-the-board and rise to a cut of 1.9 percent there was always speculation that some discretionary lines would be insulated. Today’s detail r…

Become a WOW Economic Security Champion!

Image
(From our friends at Wider Opportunities for Women)

What is economic security really? Are generations working together or at odds? Are we on the same page with American families? Do they have any idea what we are talking about?

Today, there are organizations and coalitions across the country with similar goals but many differing definitions of economic need. To address this, Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) will host five regional meetings as part of their Building Bridges to Economic Security Campaign to discuss findings of national public opinion research on economic security to help guide advocacy, education and outreach efforts to promote economic security throughout one’s lifetime.

To encourage participation, WOW is calling on organizations to become our Economic Security Champions. Champions are organizations willing to embrace the framework of promoting economic security over a lifetime. Champions will be designated as key regional meeting partners and receive a monetary awa…

New Video on the Need for Sick Time in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania over 2.2 million workers do not have the ability to earn paid sick days. These are some of their stories.





To listen to these and other stories please visit the Working Families Story Bank.


A special thank you to WOMEN'S WAY, a member of the Coalition that put this video together.

Are You Ready For National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week?

Image
National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week 2010 is a unique opportunity to lift every voice for adult education and family literacy. September 13 – 19, 2010 will mark Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, which was recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and supported by the National Coalition for Literacy. This week will be a one-time only dedication to raise public awareness of adult education and family literacy, assist adult learners in need of literacy services, and support increased access to adult education and family literacy programs. Use this opportunity to elevate adult education and family literacy nationwide with policymakers, the media, and the community.

Here are some things you can do for Adult Education and Family Literacy Week 2010:
Have awareness activities planned? If not, visit the NCL Advocacy Clearinghouse and Toolkit resource pages for quick ideas and resources. We update these pages daily.Want to see others’ plans? Visit the NCL Blog ar…

Support the Industry Partnership Program Today!

Image
If you support the Industry Partnership program, please sign on today to a letter of support that will go out to the General Assembly.

Earlier this year, the State House unanimously passed a bill that would put the Industry Partnership program into statute, ensuring that it remains funded for years to come. Since then, a nearly identical Senate bill has been voted out of committee but now awaits the vote of the entire State Senate.

Unless legislators hear from you, this legislation will not be voted on before the end of the session. Without passing legislation to put the Industry Partnership program in statute, there is no guarantee that it will be funded next year.

Please take a moment to sign on today! You can read the letter of support at http://workforcepa.com/sign-letter-support-industry-partnership-legislation-click-link-bottom-page.

Support Tax Policies That Support Working Families!

Image
(From our friends at Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children)

When Congress returns to Washington next month, they will have a number of important issues on their plate.  One of the most important items they will tackle will be tax policies for low- and moderate-income Americans, especially as they continue to deal with the impact of the recession. 

New tax policies enacted by Congress this fall should support working low- and moderate-income families – so parents can continue work and focus on raising their children rather than the basic costs of living.

Please sign onto a letter urging PA members of Congress to support targeted and fiscally responsible tax policies that help low- and moderate-income families.

If Congress doesn’t prioritize children and families, important policies like the Child Tax Credit for a parent working at minimum wage would be cut. It’s not enough to simply address federal tax policy this fall – Congress should take steps to be sure that efforts are family-f…

Support Adult Literacy in Pennsylvania

Image
During this recession, every penny counts as Pennsylvanians search for family-sustaining employment. However, penny-wise can be pound-foolish when it comes to funding the programs Pennsylvanians need to find those jobs.

Eighty percent of jobs in today’s economy require some form of education beyond high school. Since more than 750,000 adults in Pennsylvania (age 18-64) lack a high school diploma or GED, the only means they have of attaining these jobs is through adult education classes.

However, over the past two years, the budget allocation for adult literacy has decreased by 50%. Meanwhile, GED classes are filling more quickly than ever. Even though the fiscal year just began in July, many counties have run out of space in their programs and begun waiting lists.

If you support adult literacy, please write to your legislators today to let them know!

image courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Libri_books2.jpg

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: August 30, 2010

Federal

Use This Congressional Recess to Weigh In on SNAP

(from our friends at the Coalition on Human Needs)

When Congress returns from recess they will prepare to tackle Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act (HR 5504). Now is the time to contact your members of Congress and ask them to move forward with the bill without cutting SNAP (food stamps).

The recess provides a number of opportunities including:

- Schedule Site Visits and District Appointments. Members of Congress are home until September 13. Scheduling a site visit at a school, agency or out-of-school time program is a great way for Members to see the great activities that include the nutrition programs. Or schedule a time to meet with your Member in person or through a "community conference call." For more information on either of these options, contact Etienne Melcher or Ellen Teller.

- Paper Plate Campaign. Use FRAC's food hardship data to highlight the need in your congressional district for a strong c…

Take Action for Women's Equality Day (August 26)!

Image
In the United States, August 26th is recognized as Women's Equality Day to commemorate the full voting rights given to women when the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920. This year we mark the 90th year of full voting rights for women and take this opportunity to focus on the inequities that remain.

Take Action Now!

On Women's Equality Day this year, 9to5: The National Association of Working Women, PathWays PA, and The Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces are inviting its members, activists, volunteers, allies and others to speak out, raise awareness, and take action for our paid sick days campaign.

Celebrate Women's Equality!

Nearly 40 million private sector employees have no access to earned sick days, including a high proportion of women. According to a survey released in June 2010, while 71 percent of men surveyed reported having paid sick days, only 57 percent of women earned the same benefit. Low-wage workers and workers in female-dominated fields like childca…

Webchat on Women's Equality Day at 4:30 Today

Image
In honor of Women’s Equality Day, Tina Tchen, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, is participating in a live webchat at 4:30pm. Watch the chat and/or read more about it.

You can read more about the White House Council on Women and Girls at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/cwg.


(photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LG_L194WT-SF_LCD_monitor.jpg// http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ )

Use This Congressional Recess to Weigh In on SNAP

Image
(from our friends at the Coalition on Human Needs)

As Congress prepares to tackle Child Nutrition Reauthorization (HR 5504) when it returns from break, now is the time to ask them to move forward with the bill without cutting SNAP (food stamps)


The August recess provides a number of opportunities:

- Schedule Site Visits and District Appointments. Members of Congress are home until September 13. Scheduling a site visit at a school, agency or out-of-school time program is a great way for Members to see the great activities that include the nutrition programs. Or schedule a time to meet with your Member in person or through a "community conference call." For more information on either of these options, contact Etienne Melcher or Ellen Teller.

- Paper Plate Campaign. Use FRAC's food hardship data to highlight the need in your community (congressional district) for a strong child nutrition bill that doesn't cut SNAP benefits. While members are home, you can deliver or…

Op-Ed in Patriot News on the Need for Earned Sick Time

"Paid sick days legislation makes sense for all businesses"

by Carol Goertzel, President/CEO of PathWays PA

When Tiffany Lomax hears her son’s breath get shorter, she knows what is coming next.

Her chest constricts in sympathy with him as he begins to cough and wheeze, and together they fight for control over his asthma. But Tiffany can now care for her son with a little more peace of mind. She knows that, if needed, she can get him to the doctor or hospital without risking her job — all because she earns paid sick days. To read the whole story, please visit the Patriot-News website, and be sure to add your comments to the discussion!

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: August 23, 2010

House Labor Relations Committee Held Hearing on Earned Sick Time Bill

On August 17, the House’s Labor Relations Committee held a hearing to discuss the Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act (HB 1830), which gives Pennsylvania’s workers the opportunity to earn up to 6.5 days (52 hours) of paid sick time.  Workers would be permitted to use the hours they earn to care for themselves or a family member when they are sick or in instances of domestic violence.

PathWays PA, along with other members of the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces, attended and testified at the hearing.  Prior to the hearing, Coalition members met with legislators to talk about this important issue and held a press conference.  Even in the dog days of summer, the Coalition was able to make a great deal of progress on moving toward allowing workers in Pennsylvania to earn paid sick days.

To learn more about this issue please and to learn about our day in Harrisburg visit the Coalition for Healthy Famil…

Written Testimony from August 17, 2010 Hearing on Earned Sick Time

Image

Plan to Close Remaining State Budget Deficit

With FMAP funding being less than what the state had budgeted for, a $282 million hole needs to closing. The Governor has a two-part plan.

The first part includes across-the-board cuts in departmental spending, including the layoff of 100 state workers by early September. The Governor expects to save $212 million by making a 1.9 percent cut in the budgets of dozens of agencies. In addition, he is urging the General Assembly, independent agencies, and state courts to cut their 2010-11 spending by the same amount.

The second part includes the enactment of a new severance tax on the natural gas being pumped from Marcellus Shale. It is anticipated that this would raise $70 million in new revenue from that levy.

If the tax is not enacted by early October or if agencies and the legislature do not trim their budgets, the additional layoffs may be necessary.

Need for Earned Sick Days Front and Center in Harrisburg This Week

Image
Thanks to Family Values @ Work for posting about earned sick days!

On Tuesday, the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces in Pennsylvania traveled to Harrisburg to shine a light on the need for earned sick time – and to turn up the heat on legislators to pass the earned sick time bill. You can read the full post here.

When Motherhood Comes Up In The Job Interview

Image
When you go on an interview, employers can't ask you about your race or religion.  But to the surprise of many, employers can ask about marital and familial status - and they do.   Kiki Peppard learned all about the impact of these questions when, after moving to Pennsylvania over 15 years ago, 19 employers in a row asked whether she was married and had children.  After learning she was a single mother, they all terminated the interviews.

Researchshows that mothers, including single mothers, face discrimination and negative stereotyping when they look for employment.  While these questions seem close to sex discrimination, interviewers are not prohibited from asking them so long as they ask both men and women.

The information that potential employers learn about an interview's familial status often becomes a factor in whether or not they hire a candidate - even though that information has nothing to do with how qualified a person is for the job.  The Executive Director of the P…

"It’s Amazing What Can be Done During the Dog Days of August!"

Image
Check out the National Partnership for Women and Families blog post on the Earned Sick Time Hearing on August 17: Pennsylvania Paid Sick Days Advocates Working Hard During the Dog Days.
While many of us spend time in August vacationing at the beach or in the mountains, Pennsylvania advocates took a trip to their state capitol in Harrisburg — to push for a state paid sick days law....
Read the full post here.

Articles from Yesterday's Hearing on an Earned Sick Days Bill

Image
Below are some articles published about the House Labor Relations Committee’s hearing held yesterday on the Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Bill (HB 1830).

Push to mandate paid sick leave - Pocono Record

PA bill would mandate workplace sick leave - Post-Gazette

Paid sick leave proposal in PA gets renewed push - KYW 1060

Speakers Weigh-in on Bill Requiring Paid Sick Leave – DUQ 90.5 FM Blog (Pittsburgh's NPR Station)

Pathways PA, Gergely Urge Support for Paid Sick Leave - PLS

Lawmaker says sick workers should stay home - and still get paid - Capitolwire (subscription required)

New bill could guarantee sick leave for minimum wage workers - ABC 27

Help Save adultBasic!

Image
(from our friends at the PA Health Access Network)

If you haven't already taken the time to sign our online petition "Save adultBasic" please do so now! adultBasic is a critical program that helps nearly 46,000 Pennsylvanians who make a little too much for Medicaid. If this program dies, they might too.

Kathy from Doylestown said, "I am a working mom with Lyme Disease. adultBasic allowed me to receive the care I needed. I was later diagnosed with a pre-cancerous condition of the cervix which needed an operation. Without adultBasic I would not have had the proper diagnosis and would have most likely died from cervical cancer."

Help Kathy and 46,000 Pennsylvanians right now by going to our online petition and adding your name. Then forward the petition or this email to your family and friends!

Also, you can join the Facebook Group to Save adultBasic.

Let Your Legislators Know That Earned Sick Days Are Important To You!

Image
PathWays PA is proud to offer a new way to contact your legislators directly about important issues.  Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out action alerts that will allow you to send targeted emails directly to your state and federal representatives on the issues that are important to you.

Our first email is targeted to tomorrow's hearing on Earned Sick Time by the House Labor Relations Committee.  If you support earned sick time, please let your legislator know today!

Currently in Pennsylvania 46 percent of workers have no earned sick time, and a majority of employees without this benefit work in food service and care giving positions. When workers without earned sick time are sick, they have to choose between going to work – where they could potentially infect co-workers or customers – and staying home – where they will lose pay and possibly their jobs.

Press Conference 8/17/10 at 12 PM in Capitol Rotunda: One Size Doesn’t Fit All When it Comes to Sick Days However, No One Should Have to Live with Extra Small

Image
In Pennsylvania, approximately 46% of all workers do not have access to earned sick days.
HARRISBURG— On August 17, the House’s Labor Relations Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act (HB 1830), which gives Pennsylvania’s workers the opportunity to earn up to 6.5 days (52 hours) of paid sick time. Workers would be permitted to use the hours they earn to care for themselves or a family member when they are sick. This bill has the support of the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces, which is made up of a broad range of workers, nonprofit organizations, labor groups, and legislators.

Currently in Pennsylvania 46% of workers have no earned sick days, and a majority of employees without this benefit work in food service and care giving positions. When workers without earned sick days are sick, they have to choose between going to work – where they could potentially infect co-workers or customers – and staying home – where they will los…

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: August 16, 2010

State

House Labor Relations Committee to Hold Hearing on Earned Sick Time Bill

On August 17, the House’s Labor Relations Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act (HB 1830), which gives Pennsylvania’s workers the opportunity to earn up to 6.5 days (52 hours) of paid sick time. Workers would be permitted to use the hours they earn to care for themselves or a family member when they are sick or in instances of domestic violence.

Currently in Pennsylvania 46 percent of workers have no earned sick time, and a majority of employees without this benefit work in food service and care giving positions. When workers without earned sick time are sick, they have to choose between going to work – where they could potentially infect co-workers or customers – and staying home – where they will lose pay and possibly their jobs.

Please join advocates in Harrisburg for a press conference to discuss the need for earned sick time in the Capitol Rotunda at …

Proposed Budget Cuts

Image
Sources say that in meetings with legislative leaders today, Governor Rendell made the following proposals to close the budget gap left by FMAP funding.  Currently, the proposal seems to involve the following:
1.9% cuts across the board in discretionary appropriations (expected to total $198 million, including a $50 million cut in basic education funding)1.9% cut to legislature (totaling $6 million)1.9% cut to courts (totaling $5 million)1.9% cut to elected independents (totaling $3 million)Governor Rendell also expects to use $70 million in funding from a proposed tax on Marcellus Shale.

As many of you know, FMAP passed out of the House yesterday, but at lower levels than the state originally budgeted.  Pennsylvania will be receiving approximately $600 million instead of $850 million from FMAP.

image courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Skalm_2.JPG

Vote for Homes Voter Registration Training

Image
Starting next week, Vote for Homes be holding voter registration trainings at Project H.OM.E. You’re invited to come for a refresher if you’ve done voter registration in the past, or come for the first time. They will also hold a special “Train the Trainer” session for people who want to learn how to train other volunteers to do voter registration.

“Train the Trainer” Session
Thursday, August 19, 1-4 pm, 1515 Fairmount Ave.

Learn how to conduct Voter Registration trainings with your organization Practice group facilitation skills This training is targeted towards people who have the opportunity to run trainings in their network or organization
Voter Registration Trainings, 1515 Fairmount Ave.
Monday, August 23, 5:30-7:30 pm
Sunday, September 12, 3-5 pm
Thursday, September 16, 4-6 pm

Learn about voting rights for people who are homeless, living with disabilities, or ex-offenders Learn how to register voters
Please RSVP to at annamurphey@projecthome.org or call 215-232-7272 ext. 3106…

FMAP Passes House, On Its Way to the President

Image
As expected, FMAP spending was concurred on by the House of Representatives today, setting the stage for the bill to be signed by President Obama.  Over $16 billion in funding will now go to states to bolster their weakened budgets. Pennsylvania will receive approximately $600 million from FMAP and almost $400 million in federal education funding.

Even after the funding, Pennsylvania will have a budgetary gap of between $200 million and $250 million.  Governor Rendell and state legislators are scheduled to meet tomorrow to discuss how best to meet that gap.  Please contact your state legislators today to support the important services that Pennsylvania's families continue to rely on in these tough economic times.

image courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:OvalMedallion.jpg

PathWays PA Job Postings - August 10, 2010

Image
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: LD/CFF 610-328-2807.

Childcare Worker
Child Learning Center at Delco Group home. Must have knowledge of early childhood development & ability to nurture and promote positive growth in pre school age children. AA in Early Childhood Ed. preferred. Salary $12/hour. Fax resume to LD/CFF 610-328-2807.

Case Manager - Center for Families
Delco Group home - Full time to provide family case management. and counseling services; coordination of medical, mental health and education services. Must have understanding of homelessness and child welfare issues. Knowledge of community resources helpful. Valid driver's license a must. BSW or related degree required. Resumes to LD/CFF 610-328-2807. EOE

Trauma-informed Therapists
Pa…

PathWays PA Job Postings - August 2010

Image
Please visit our August 10 posting for a revised listing.

Press Conference to Support FMAP

Image
(from our friends at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Budget Coalition and HCAN)

On August 10, 2010, a bipartisan press conference will be held in Media, PA, in support of FMAP funding (which creates a temporary increase in federal funding of Medicaid and Medical Assistance for states).  The press conference will come on the same day that the House is expected to vote on FMAP funding, following a Senate vote on the bill last week.

At the press conference, Senators Edwin Erickson (R-Delaware), Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), and Leanna Washington (D-Philadelphia and Montgomery) and Represntative Tom Murt (R-Montgomery) will join together to discuss how the need for FMAP funding rises above partisan lines. In Pennsylvania, FMAP funding is expected to preserve a wide range of services and to prevent the loss of possibly 20,000 jobs in the public and private sector.

While FMAP funding will help fill the $850 million gap in the state budget, it is not expected …

PathWays PA E-Newsletter - 9 August 2010

Coffee Hour with Content:
Come Network and Learn about the Need for Earned Sick Time

Did you know that 46% of workers in Pennsylvania have NO earned sick time? In other words, 2.2 million Pennsylvanians either go to work sick or risk losing their pay when ill-or their jobs!

The Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces is hosting a coffee hour where individuals can network while learning about the issue of earned sick time and current legislation working its way through the General Assembly and City Council. Come enjoy some free coffee and a light breakfast and learn more!

WHEN: Thursday, August 12th 8:00 am -9:00 am
(You must RSVP by August 11!)

WHERE: Ballard Spahr, LLP, 1735 Market Street, 42nd Floor, Peter Mattoon Conference Room, Philadelphia, PA

To register for the event visit: http://coffeehourwithcontent.eventbrite.com (You must RSVP to attend!)

Please join the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces to give workers the ability to earn sick time to care for themselves…

Webinar: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Outreach in Your Community

Image
(From our friends at the USDA)

What: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) Outreach in Your Community
Presented By: WHY Hunger
Date: Thursday, August 19, 2010
Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm Eastern Time
Please register!

Learn About:
Qualifications to be eligible for the SNAP programHow individuals can contact representatives from SNAPWhere the SNAP program is acceptedHow the SNAP program assists individuals and helps communitiesSuccessful SNAP outreach campaignsAccess to SNAP program in farmers markets/EBT
Target Audience:
National and community-based agencies that make referrals to individuals in needEmergency Food Providers (EFPs)Agencies and community-based organizations working on hunger and poverty issuesPeople who work in Farmers Markets
Please register to participate by completing the online registration


You can contact WHY Hunger for questions on webinar content or the USDA regarding webinar logistics.


image courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…