Monday, March 28, 2011

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: March 28, 2011

Federal Policy Update

PROTECT VULNERABLE FAMILIES & ECONOMIC RECOVERY IN CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET
Current funding of the federal budget will expire on April 8, 2011. Harmful cuts to Head Start programs, health care, housing, education, job preparation, and nutrition assistance, among other essential programs, were abundant in the proposed House budget.

Ask your Senators to oppose these cuts in the proposed Senate bill by sending them an email and urging them to reject the House cuts. You can also take action by writing letters to the editor opposing the cuts.

Visit the Coalition on Human Needs website for tips on letter writing and sample letters.

EMERGENCY HOMEOWNER LOAN PROGRAM IS STALLED

EHLP, the Emergency Homeowner Loan Program, means $100+ million to help Pennsylvania homeowners facing foreclosure due to involuntary unemployment, underemployment, or medical condition. EHLP was enacted by Congress as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173). It was supposed to start operating by October 1, 2010, but EHLP is still not up and running.
Adding to the void created by EHLP’s delay, the Homeowner’s Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) has been zeroed out by Governor Corbett. This means that unless EHLP is operating soon, there is no mortgage safety net for Pennsylvanians, and many could lose their homes to foreclosure through no fault of their own. To make things even harder, Congress is considering eliminating funding for Housing Counseling and 62% in cuts to Community Development Block Grant programs, which help homeowners facing foreclosure - read more in Liz Hersh's recent letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Please call Shaun Donovan, Secretary of HUD, to release the EHLP funding to Pennsylvania now at: (202) 708-0417.

The above information was provided by our allies at The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania.

State Policy Update

TAKE ACTION TO ENSURE ADULT LITERACY PROGRAMS ARE FUNDED IN THE PROPOSED STATE BUDGET

Adult literacy is critical for the economic development of PA. As budgets are finalized for Fiscal Year 2011 - 2012, please remember that basic skills are the foundation for workforce development and therefore the engine for job creation and employment. Contact your members of the General Assembly and let them know that Adult Literacy funding is essential in Pennsylvania.

Visit the Pennsylvania Association for Adult Continuing Education website for more information.

Information/Events

ADVOCATING FOR HOMELESS SERVICES IN HARRISBURG, APRIL 5

Homeless service advocates and providers are joining efforts around the state to urge Governor Corbett and the Pennsylvania General Assembly to restore the Human Services Development Fund to its Fiscal Year 2010 appropriation of $23.8 million. They are also working to urge Congress to fund the federal McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Program.

When: April 5, 2011, 11 AM to 12:30 PM
Where: Room 302 in the Irvis Building, Harrisburg (adjacent to the main Capitol Building)

Among a number of social services, HSDF is a core-government service that is a critical and flexible source of funds that are targeted toward local problems as identified by local leaders. In many counties, HSDF provides the first step to helping a homeless family or individual find safety and housing. Last year, nearly 5,000 men, women, and children from throughout Pennsylvania were helped.

McKinney Vento is the largest federal source of funding for services benefitting homeless persons. Congress is debating whether or not to support a national strategy that has gained success over the past few years.

To attend the summit, contact Joe Willard, People’s Emergency Center, jwillard@pec-cares.org, or 215.382.7522 x 264.

WISCONSIN PAID SICK DAYS VICTORY

This week the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, in a unanimous decision, upheld a Paid Sick Days Ordinance that had been facing legal challenges since its passage. Because of a lawsuit against the ordinance, workers had been prevented from using the paid sick days since Wisconsin voters approved the ordinance in 2008. While the Court’s decision is a victory because it enables Wisconsin workers to access paid sick leave, the fight against the ordinance is not over; a bill preventing local control of paid sick leave ordinances is pending in the state legislature.

Learn more about Wisconsin’s paid sick leave initiatives on the 9to5 website, and join the efforts in Philadelphia to bring paid sick days to our area!

APRIL IS CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH

The President, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, have dedicated this April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Though child abuse and neglect are ongoing issues, it is during this month that we can work harder than ever to help raise awareness and educate people about what they can do throughout the year to keep our children safe. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by strengthening families and communities.
Research shows that five important factors are present in healthy families. Promoting these factors is among the most effective ways to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect. They are:
  • Nurturing and attachment
  • Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Concrete supports for parents

To increase the understanding of the impact of child abuse PECO Energy and Conoco Philips have generously sponsored the annual Stand for Children Breakfast on Thursday, April 14th at 8 am at the Drexelbrook in Drexel Hill. Michael Galantino, Esq. Deputy District Attorney in the Special Victims and Domestic Violence Division of the Office of the District Attorney of Delaware County will speak on the impact of trauma on the brain.

RALLY FOR A RESPONSIBLE BUDGET

On May 3rd, 2011 there will be a Rally for a Responsible Budget at the state capital between 1:00-2:00 to address the major cuts in Governor Corbett’s proposed budget.

Free bus rides are available if you sign up now! Go to http://www.clearforpa.org/ for more information on the rally and to sign up for the buses. Space is limited on the buses, so sign up ASAP, but no later than April 19.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT POLICY & PRACTICE LECTURE

Join CLASP on May 9th for an event on how workforce policy and programs can best contribute to economic growth, community renewal and individuals' economic mobility.

Confirmed Speakers:
  • Ray Marshall, U.S. Secretary of Labor in the Carter Administration
  • William E. Brock, U.S. Secretary of Labor in the Reagan Administration
  • Steven Gunderson, Republican Congressman from Wisconsin 1980-1996
  • Kitty Higgins, Deputy Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration
  • Roberts T. Jones, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training in the Reagan and Bush Administrations
This is an especially strategic time for a bi-partisan discussion on how workforce policy and programs can best contribute to economic growth, community renewal and individuals’ economic mobility. Today, as we emerge from a recession, U.S. workers and businesses face daunting challenges that require a strong workforce system. We will need to ensure that all segments of our ever more diverse workforce are prepared for an innovation and skill-based economy. The pending reauthorizations of workforce-related programs provide an opportunity to address these challenges. Yet, despite a history of bi-partisan support in Washington and in the states for employment, training and workforce education programs, constrained resources threaten their very existence.

The symposium will be held May 9, 2011 from 3:00-4:30 PM at the Dirksen Senate Office Building SD-562, Washington, D.C. For more information visit the CLASP website.

No comments:

Post a Comment