Tuesday, June 19, 2012

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: June 18, 2012

Federal Policy Updates


SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE PASSES LABOR-HHS BILL

Last week the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the 2013 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. This bill includes the funding for most child welfare and related programs.

The Senate bill includes small but important funding increases for a number of programs critical to vulnerable children and families.
  • $70 million increase for Head Start $160 million increase for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) designed to both improve quality and expand access
  • $51 million increase for the Race to the Top program with an accompanying focus on early childhood care and education
  • $20 million increase for Promise Neighborhoods, a program designed to support local efforts to fight poverty and improve educational outcomes for children in high-risk neighborhoods
  • $5 million in additional IV-B training funds to prevent domestic child sex trafficking and improv e services for victims of trafficking by training and building capacity in organizations that have direct contact with youth at-risk of sex trafficking
Next, the bill will have to be considered by the full Senate. The House will also have to take action on this bill but a timeline on this is not yet clear.


From our friends at CWLA.

State Policy Updates

SUPPORT FUNDING FOR EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT OUTREACH

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) outreach initiatives throughout the state, including our work at PathWays PA, are at risk of losing their funding from the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) in the upcoming fiscal year. Over 2000 families filed returns just with PathWays PA this year, giving them access to free, IRS-certified tax services, financial literacy tools, and quick refunds without paying high interest fees.

Please take a moment to write to Secretary Alexander and to your legislators about the need for Earned Income Tax Outreach funding.

A VICTORY FOR STRUGGLING HOMEOWNERS

The Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Program (HEMAP) was credited with saving up to 47,000 homeowners from foreclosure over more than 27 years in existence. But as a result of budget cuts last year, the program ended July 1, 2011 leaving many homeowners struggling to keep a roof over their head.

But this program might be coming back. Just last week the House passed Senate Bill 1433, the Homeowner Assistance Settlement Act. SB 1433 is now awaiting action by the Governor. If become law soon the Pennsylvania Housing Financial Authority said they could start accepting HEMAP applications by early July.

Please call to thank your members of the House and Senate for supporting homeowners in Pennsylvania by supporting this important program.

TOO PREGNANT FOR HEALTHCARE?

Did you know that in Pennsylvania it's legal to charge women more for health care? Health insurance companies say it's because women can have babies, but a woman is likely to be charged discriminatory rates throughout her entire life. The new health care law ends this and bans insurance companies from counting pregnancy as a 'pre-existing condition.' But, those protections don't go into place until 2014.

Women can't wait! We need equal access to doctors today. Sign the petition and urge your legislators to give these protections to Pennsylvania women now.

Whatever the Supreme Court decides, women in Pennsylvania deserve these protections!

Information and Events

FREE MAMMOGRAMS

From our friends at the Philadelphia Unemployment Project. Please feel free to share it with the women in your life.

If you have not had a mammogram yet and do not have health insurance, you may qualify for a free one. Over 12,000 women in Pennsylvania are diagnosed each year with breast cancer. If it's found early, the five-year survival rate is 98%. A mammogram can save your life.

To find out if you qualify, contact Leslie at the Philadelphia Unemployment Project. Leslie is a volunteer who is trained in mammogram referrals and will help you get your free mammogram.

Call 215-557-0822 ext. 114 on Wednesdays and ask for Leslie or email her any day at lmeyerson@philaup.org.

Don't put this off any longer! If you would like to volunteer to help women get access to free mammogram, let Leslie know.

CITY OF PHILADELPHIA DIRECTORY OF SUMMER PROGRAMS

A directory of 2012 Philadelphia summer youth programs is now available on the city's website.

This website will serve as an interactive source for information about the available summer youth programs - organized by age and area. There are thousands of opportunities for children, tweens and teens this summer. Visit this website for programs in your neighborhood and help with program enrollment.

STEM SURVEY FOR OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME PROGRAMS


The Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) has received a planning grant from the Noyce Foundation to determine the extent to which Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities are currently offered in Pennsylvania out-of-school (OST) programs and ultimately to expand STEM access, programming, quality and assessment throughout the Commonwealth.

If you work directly with OST youth, or administer or support OST programs in some capacity, please take a few minutes to complete the OST STEM Survey by clicking on the following link: http://tinyurl.com/cof7l4r

In addition to helping to map Pennsylvania OST STEM, those who complete the survey will have the opportunity to be entered in a drawing for one of two $50.00 Gift Cards and a NOOK Tablet! The survey deadline is Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

ARTISTS WHO WORK IN THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY

The Restaurant Opportunities Center of Philadelphia (Philly-ROC) is hosting an art show featuring art created by restaurant workers to highlight the creativity that thrives amongst the workers who prepare and serve us food and drink. The art show will be on August 5 and some pieces will also be exhibited at a summit on September 4 that highlights issues in the restaurant industry.

If you are an artist who works in the restaurant industry, you can submit 2-3 pieces for the show by: emailing sheila@rocunited.org or calling (267) 867-9797.

Deadline for submitting pieces is July 6, but participating artists must confirm that they will be submitting pieces by June 27.

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