Monday, June 11, 2012

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: June 11, 2012

Federal Policy Updates

SENATE FARM BILL: URGE YOUR SENATORS TO RESTORE SNAP CUTS

This week, the Senate is expected to begin consideration of the Farm Bill (S. 3240). The proposal includes a $4.5 billion cut to SNAP over 10 years by reducing the ability of states to take part in the “Heat and Eat” program. The cut would mean that an estimated 500,000 households a year would lose $90 per month in SNAP benefits.

But there is hope. There is an amendment circulating in the Senate that would restore, over 10 years, the $4.5 billion cut to SNAP and invests $500 million in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack program. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has a "Dear Colleague Letter" in the Senate asking for cosponsors for this amendment.

If you support this amendment, please contact your Senators (202-224-3121 Senate Switchboard) and urge them to demonstrate their support for SNAP by co-sponsoring the Gillibrand SNAP amendment. Offices should contact Kathryn Tanner in Sen. Gillibrand's office, Kathryn_tanner@gillibrand.senate.gov, to co-sponsor the amendment.

To find other ways to take action visit the Food Action and Research Center’s website. If you have any questions please contact Etienne Melcher, emelcher@frac.org or Ellen Teller, eteller@frac.org.

UPDATE: PAYCHECK FAIRNESS ACT

Last week the Senate had an opportunity to move the Paycheck Fairness Act forward but was unable to do so. The Paycheck Fairness Act would deter wage discrimination by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and barring retaliation against workers who disclose their own wages to co-workers. Without this bill, employers can penalize and even fire employees for talking about their salaries. This egregious practice leaves workers in the dark, preventing them from ever finding out about pay discrimination in the workplace.

Despite this set back we will continue to work toward equal pay for equal work for all women! Thank you to everyone who took action on this issue and we look forward to when we will be calling on you to do the so again!

SUPPORT ACCESS TO CONTRACEPTION FOR ALL WOMEN

In August, women will have access to contraception without a co-pay thanks to the Affordable Care Act and a decision by the Department of Health and Human Services to including contraception on a list of other methods of preventative care all available without a co-pay.

Unfortunately, some are trying to strip away this progress for women’s health. If you support HHS’ decision to provide access to affordable contraception for all women please contact Secretary Sebelius today.

From our friends at the ACLU.

Local Policy Updates

STILL TIME TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST PREDATORY PAY DAY LENDING

Last week the State House passed HB 2191, a bill that legalizes predatory payday loans in Pennsylvania. Despite the loss due to many constitutions raising their concerns about this bill the bill pass by one 6 votes While the bill moves forward there are still ways you can take action to stop this legislation: 
  1. Contact your State Representatives to let them know how you feel about their vote. 
  2. Contact your State Senator now about HB 2191.
You can learn more about predatory payday lending at the Keystone Research Center web site and at stoppaydayloanspa.com.

URGE PHILADELPHIA TO LIFT THE BAN ON OUTDOOR MEALS
 
Two months ago, Philadelphia announced that the City would ban outdoor feeding programs for those who are homeless on the streets. In return a promise was made to establish alternative meal sites with onsite services, and to establish a commission to develop proposals for meeting the food needs of those who were homeless.

The ban went into effect on June 1, but these other promises are not yet in effect. Project HOME is asking those opposed to the outdoor feeding ban to contact Mayor Nutter and urge him to lift the ban and work on real solutions to the issues of homelessness, hunger, and poverty.

For more information, click here.

Information & Events

FREE LEGAL CLINIC
 
Do you need legal help with an immigration or a family matter? The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians is holding a free legal clinic where individuals can talk in private with an attorney about an immigration of family legal issue.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 12 from 3:00 to 5:30
WHERE: One Penn Center, Suite 555, 1617 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia, PA

You MUST register in advance. To reserve a place, please call Desiree at (215) 557-2626 or email desiree@welcomingcenter.org

GET YOUR 2012 WEB BADGE!

Want to promote the 2012 election without completely redesigning your website?

Nonprofit Vote 2012 has created a badge you can add to your website to help share information about the upcoming election. They have designs for all 50 states that direct visitors to state-specific registration deadlines and requirements, early voting options, and more.

You can use the badge to increase visibility around the election, familiarize other nonprofits with voter engagement, and to more fully engage your community.

SOCIAL SECURITY/SSI OVERPAYMENTS WORKSHOP

Please join Community Legal Services attorneys John Whitelaw and Rebecca Vallas for a basic overview of Social Security/SSI overpayments, individuals' rights and remedies and what you can do to help.

WHEN: Thursday, June 28th from 3-5pm
WHERE: Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street, 11th Floor.

Kindly remember to bring your PA photo ID, as they are checked in the lobby by 1101 Market Street building security. Please contact Patty McGlone at 215-227-2408 or pmcglone@clsphila.org to RSVP.

WEBINAR: MOVING TO 21ST-CENTURY PUBLIC BENEFITS

The world has changed, and a new model of public benefit administration using modern information systems is emerging to improve the enrollment and retention procedures of our public benefits programs.

The Coalition for Access and Opportunity invites you to join Stan Dorn, Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, to learn more about the Coalition’s new paper on how sharing data and basing eligibility decisions on existing information can cut administrative costs, help more families in need of assistance access benefits and strengthen programs. State representatives will share examples and reactions to the paper.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 12, from 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Register now

CLASP, Single Stop USA and First Focus co-convene the Coalition for Access and Opportunity, a collaboration of advocates, researchers, and practitioners working to improve access to and better coordination of the range of federal income and work supports.

PathWays PA Information

FINANCIAL WORKSHOPS FOR TEENS AND ADULTS

The J. Lewis Crozer Library is excited to welcome PathWays PA for a series of financial workshops for both teens and adults this summer.

The Helping You Achieve Your Financial Goals workshops will cover money management and credit topics, including how to create a spending plan, dealing with creditors and bill collectors, and protecting your personal information.

The workshops will meet on Tuesdays, July 10th and August 7th at 6:00p.m. Both adults and teens from age 13 and up are invited to receive this valuable financial information by attending any or all of the workshops.

Registration is required by calling (610) 494-3454, extension 204. Crozer Library is located at 620 Engle Street in Chester.

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