Wednesday, June 15, 2011

PathWays PA Special Budget Alert: June 15, 2011


FEDERAL BUDGET UPDATE

MEDICAID THREATENED- YOU CAN HELP
Spending cuts dominate the budget discussions in Washington and across the states. Most recently, the focus of this discussion has been Medicaid. There are several proposals on the table to create budget caps and/or block grants for Medicaid, which would fundamentally undermine and slash funding for the program. However, the majority (60% vs. 35%) of the American people oppose cuts to Medicaid, according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

It is critical to protect this intergenerational program by telling your senators to oppose cuts to Medicaid, both in the form of spending caps or vouchers. Join concerned citizens across the country on Thursday, June 16 and contact your senators, by e-mail or phone.
Call your Senators on Thursday by using the toll-free switchboard: 1-866-922-4970.
E-mail your member of Congress.

Thanks to our friends at LeadingAge, Families USA and NCOA for coordinating this day of action.

If you want to learn more about Medicaid, sign up for WOW’s webinar: Budget Battles: Threats to Medicaid on Thursday, June 30 at 3:00pm Eastern.


State Budget Update

Over the next few days, it is critical that Pennsylvania's state senators hear from their constituents, as they prepare to vote on a state budget plan.

The budget approved by the Pennsylvania House cuts almost $1 billion from public schools and slashes $471 million in funding proposed by Governor Corbett for health care, services for people with disabilities, and vulnerable children. The House budget makes deep cuts, even though the state has a revenue surplus of half a billion dollars.

Call your senator today and say:

Before you make deep cuts to education, health care and cost-effective local services, you should use the state's half-billion dollar surplus and enact a drilling tax on natural gas.

Get call-in information for your senator here and then follow up with an email at our Action Page

Please forward this email widely. Ask your networks to make calls today, tomorrow, and Wednesday to secure a state budget that reflects Pennsylvania's priorities.

You can learn more about the state budget at the web sites of Better Choices for Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.


PA domestic abuse shelters in danger

Just 37 days from the deadline, the deal-making continues as the proposal moved on to the Senate.

The House plan takes $470 million away from public welfare to ease massive education cuts proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett.

Domestic abuse shelters across the state are pleading with lawmakers not to cut their funding, saying it could cost lives.

Domestic violence service officials in the Susquehanna Valley have said they are already handling an increase in cases this year with less money and staff and that further cuts could leave thousands of women and children in danger. http://www.wgal.com/news/28013438/detail.html



ACTION ALERTS

OPPOSE BILL TO CUT FUNDING FOR HUMAN SERVICES DEVELOPMENT FUND

If you are concerned about issues related to evidence-based home visiting/prevention programs, family centers, child welfare, the Human Services Development Fund, rape crisis and domestic violence, among others, please take a moment to review this letter from the Protect Our Children Committee.

While the House Republican Budget restores some funding for education and human services. Such restorations, however, forced significant reductions to other programs essential to strengthening families, keeping children safe from child abuse and other forms of violence and foundational to a child’s permanency.

To read the letter and sign on, please click here..


URGENT! TAKE ACTION TO SAVE INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS!

The next few days will be critical to the future of Pennsylvania’s Industry Partnership program. The state budget is expected to pass within the next three weeks and whether it contains funding for Industry Partnerships depends on action that you and other Industry Partnership supporters take NOW.

Background: Governor Corbett's proposed 2011-2012 General Fund Budget funds Industry Partnerships at $1.6 million but zeroed out funding for Industry Partnership Training. The state budget plan approved by the House of Representatives on May 24, 2011 (HB 1485) removed the Governor's IP funding entirely. HB 1485 is now before the Senate Appropriations Committee, awaiting action.

Senator Mike Brubaker, prime sponsor of the Industry Partnership legislation (SB 552), has asked his Leadership in the Senate to restore $6.6 million in the General Fund Budget to fund the IP and Training Activities line item at their previous levels. Senator Brubaker needs your help to convince his Senate colleagues of the importance of funding IPs and their related Training Activities.

Take Action: Below are links that make it easy for you to send an e-mail to your Senator, to Senate Leaders on both sides of the aisle, and to the Chairman and members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to show your support for Senator Brubaker and for restoring $6.6 million to the General Fund Budget for Industry Partnerships.


Please click this link and enter your zip code and address to send a customizable email to your Senator.

Please click this link to send a customizable email to Senate leaders.

Please click this link to send a customizable email to members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

If you have a relationship with legislative leaders, your Senator, or Appropriations Committee members, please call them to say: “Support Senator Brubaker and the restoration of $6.6 million in the General Fund for Industry Partnerships." Find phone numbers for Pennsylvania Senators.

The PFWS website has talking points and other background information on Industry Partnerships.

Adult Education and Family Literacy

Adult education and family literacy program are especially important during this recession to ensure that families have the opportunity to gain the education they need to be or become self-sufficient.

Despite the importance of adult education programs they continue to be cut in the budget year after year – this year being cut by $2,474,000.

Please contact your state legislator today and let then know how important these programs are to you and to Pennsylvania.

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