Monday, May 14, 2012

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: May 14, 2012

PathWays PA hope that all moms had a Happy Mother’s Day! Enjoy this Mother’s Day Fantasy Video put together by MomsRising

Federal Policy Updates

HOUSE PASSES LEGISLATION CUTTING FOOD STAMPS AND MEDICAID

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5652, the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act. The bill would replace the automatic defense cuts scheduled to go into effect beginning in January, 2013 under sequestration with $72 billion in cuts in the coming year to non-defense programs.

Specifically, the legislation would cut almost $8 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, in the first year while restricting eligibility for the program and repealing the enhanced benefits enacted under the 2009 stimulus bill. It would also cut billions from Medicaid by repealing the maintenance of effort protections in the Affordable Care Act, which have ensured states keep coverage and eligibility attainable for children, and eliminating the incentive program that rewards states for increasing enrollment for eligible children.

If you do not support these cuts contact your members of Congress today.

From our friends at CWLA

HELP SAVE THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY

The American Community Survey is a U.S. Census Bureau survey instrument. It was designed, with Congressional approval, to replace the "long form" of the decennial Census. Its sample is about 3 million, large enough to get reliable information at the local as well as state level about income and poverty, housing, health insurance, transportation, education and employment, etc. It is also used by businesses and local governments for many planning decisions.

As part of an appropriations bill approved by the House on Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to ELIMINATE the entire American Community Survey and to cut the Census Bureau budget by about $100 million. The Senate version of this bill is expected to reach the Senate floor next week. Read about the impact of these cuts.

The Coalition on Human Needs is urging organizations to sign a letter to encourage the Senate to continue the American Community Survey. To sign the letter, email Brendan Nichols at bnichols@ccmc.org.

This letter has been drafted by The Census Project, a group of advocacy, policy, research, and other expert groups concerned with preserving and improving Census data.

WARNING: GETTING PREGNANT MAY GET YOU FIRED!

In 2012, getting pregnant can still cost you your job. Because of loopholes between discrimination and disability laws, employers are refusing to accommodate even simple requests that help workers maintain a healthy pregnancy.

Here are three startling examples of women who were fired for doing what was best for their pregnancies:
  • A retail sales associate in Salina, Kansas was fired for drinking water while working because it violated store policy. 
  • A nursing home activities director in Valparaiso, Indiana lost her job because she could no longer lift heavy tables, an activity that took up less than 10 minutes of her workday and with which her coworkers routinely volunteered to assist. 
  • A pregnant truck driver in Tennessee was instructed by her obstetrician not to lift more than 20 pounds and sought light duty work. Her employer terminated her, as it made such modifications only to those injured on the job. 
Sounds crazy, right? Unfortunately, thousands of pregnant women are forced to choose between losing their jobs (or taking unpaid leave) and endangering their pregnancies, when just a few small workplace accommodations are all that's needed. We can do better for pregnant workers.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would promote nondiscrimination by ensuring that pregnant workers are not forced out of their jobs unnecessarily or denied reasonable job modifications that would allow them to continue working and supporting their families.

Call your Representative today at 202-224-3121 and ask him or her to co-sponsor the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act!

State Policy Updates 

HELP INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP TAX CREDIT BILL (SB 1460) PASS FULL SENATE

On Wednesday, May 10, the Senate's Finance Committee reported SB 1460, the Industry Partnership Tax Credit legislation. That bill will now be placed on the Senate's Voting Calendar and can be voted upon pending the approval of the Republican Senate Leadership. We need your help in convincing Senators to move this legislation and pass it on to the House of Representatives.

Please take a moment to visit www.workforcepa.com for more information or to send an email or letter of support for SB 1460 to your senator. As efforts are focused on obtaining additional funding for IP Training Activities in the General Fund Budget, we must also continue to advocate for a long term solution for dedicated funding for Industry Partnerships.

 Information & Events 

HELP PUT CHILD CARE ON THE MAP

It is important or families to have access to good, reliable, high-quality child care. Child care is early learning, and a crucial support for working parents -- access to quality and affordable child care is critical to break the cycle of poverty. The federal government plays a huge role in child care policy and funding and child care needs to be front and center for all members of Congress.

 Please join the campaign to "Put Child Care on the Map", and a special campaign kickoff call on May 17 at 2 pm ET -- register here.

There is a lot of ground to cover this year to make sure every member of Congress hears about child care in their community: everything from the early learning opportunities to the employers who count on staff to come every day; from subsidy assistance to tax credits to dollars to improve quality.

Members of Congress will be in their state and district offices many times in the coming months. Check out this schedule of Congressional Recess periods.

While they’re in town, you can put child care on the map:
  •  Schedule a meeting in the district office with the legislator or staff person – bring a parent, a child care provider, or a local employer/business leader to the meeting. say this can influence a representative’s/senator’s decision. 
  • Attend a town hall meeting or candidate appearance and ask a question about child care when they’re talking about jobs or education or families.  See these tips online.
  • Host your Member of Congress to visit a local child care program.
  • Write a letter to the editor of the local paper using the online alert
After you’ve put child care on the map for your member of Congress, put it on the online map!

From RESULTS and National Women's Law Center. 

SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA COMMUNITY MEETINGS

In April, the School District of Philadelphia released its 2012-2013 proposed Operating Budget, and five-year plan: A Blueprint for Transforming Philadelphia’s Public Schools. It is now the goal of District leadership, as well as the SRC to engage the community to learn more, ask questions, and share feedback. The District is hosting meetings for parents, students, and community members. All parents and community members are encouraged to attend these meetings to learn more about the proposals and the reasons behind them. A list of the remaining meeting dates and locations can be found below:
  • Northeast High School 1601 Cottman Ave. Tuesday, May 15, 2012 6:00-8:00pm 
  • Girls High School 1400 W. Olney Ave. Thursday, May 24, 2012 6:00-8:00pm 
To learn more visit http://www.philasd.org/sdptransformation, or email questions to sdptransformation@philasd.org.

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