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PathWays PA E-Newsletter: July 23, 2012

Federal Policy Updates 


Last week, the House Appropriations Committee released a draft of the Fiscal Year 2013 (FY 2013) Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. The bill passed out of the subcommittee by a vote of 8 to 6.

Overall the bill cuts more than $6 billion in discretionary funding from current levels. The majority of programs are flat-funded at current levels, but there are some notable increases and decreases.
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) is cut by $194 million 
  • The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is funded $111 million below last year’s level. 
  • Head Start and child care do receive modest funding increases of $46 million and $25 million respectively, although these increases are lower than they both receive under the Senate bill
  • The bill again de-funds many of the programs integral to the President’s health care reform law, which would make implementing the law difficult if not impossible. 
The timeline on full House consideration of the Labor-HHS bill has yet to be determined, but with three weeks left in session before the next break the House has plenty of time to pass it before leaving for the five-week long summer recess.

From our friends at CWLA

State Policy Updates


Last week, Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele announced the creation of a new card that can be issued to voters who need photo identification under Pennsylvania’s voter ID law.

The Department of State voter cards, which will be issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, will be available to registered voters who are not able to provide all of the documents they would normally need to obtain a photo ID from PennDOT.

The new voter photo identification cards are scheduled to be available at PennDOT’s Drivers License Centers beginning the last week of August. Those opposed to the Voter ID Law are still concerned about the ability of people, especially those with disabilities and the elderly, to find transportation to PennDOT Centers where they may have to wait hours for an ID.

The IDs, which are free, will be issued to voters for a 10-year period and can only be used for voting purposes. When requesting these IDs, voters will need to affirm they do not possess any other approved identification for voting purposes. They will be asked to provide two proofs of residence, such as a utility bill, along with their date of birth and Social Security number, if the customer has an assigned number. PennDOT will validate the voter registration status with the Department of State while the voter is in the PennDOT office. Upon confirmation of this information, the voter will be issued the voter card before leaving the PennDOT facility.

If you have any questions or problems obtaining an ID call (866) OUR-VOTE or visit


Community Legal Services is holding a special meeting for advocates, social workers, and constituent services staff to discuss recent changes in programs administered by the Department of Public Welfare. The panel presentation will feature several attorneys from Community Legal Services.

WHEN: Thursday, July 26 from 3:00 to 5:00
WHERE: Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street, 11th Floor Conference Center

The agenda will include the elimination of General Assistance, proposed changes to TANF cash assistance for lawfully present immigrants, changes in TANF welfare-to-work programs, changes to Medical Assistance, the SNAP asset test, and related topics.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Please register by July 24 by emailing Jennifer Feden at Community Legal Services at

Information & Events


Raising the minimum wage is an important step toward an economy that works for everyone. Putting more money into the pockets of ordinary Americans will help boost our economy.

The minimum wage can't support our families. The current federal minimum wage—at $7.25 an hour—amounts to only $15,080 a year. That's almost $9,000 below the federal poverty line for a family of four.

Join Fight for Philly as they Rally to Raise the Minimum Wage.

WHEN: Tuesday, July 24th at 4:00
WHERE: Meet at the Liberty Bell

For more information visit: You can also sign a petition to Raise the Minimum Wage by clicking here.


Learn how to register voters and about voting rights for people who are homeless, living with disabilities, or ex-offenders. The trainings are designed for people working or living in social service agencies and volunteers who want to help register voters in our communities. It includes a special focus on the new Voter ID law. (Even volunteers who have been trained before are encouraged to come again because of the new information.)

Pick one of the trainings below:
  • Thursday, July 26, 3-5 pm 
  • Monday, July 30, 2:30-4:30 pm 
Trainings are held at 1515 Fairmount Avenue in Philadelphia and snacks will be provided. To attend please RSVP to Jennine Miller at 215-232-7272, x3042 or or online at

Vote for Homes! is a nonpartisan coalition registering thousands of people who are living on low incomes, including those who are homeless, in recovery, living with disabilities, or formerly incarcerated.

For more information, please visit


The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program are awarded to qualifying low-income seniors who live in Philadelphia, Scranton, Pittsburgh and other parts of the state with particularly high tax burdens. This program has just been extended until December 31st.

This program is available for eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

For more information about this program and how to apply, click here.


Register now for a webinar exploring why and how supporting efforts to improve food security and healthy, local foods can strengthen our communities.

WHEN: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 2:00
Click here to register.

Brought to you by the Food and Agriculture Policy Collaborative, this webinar will feature industry-leading speakers and data points to help you make the economic and policy case.


As summer meal programs come to a close, it is time to gear up for the school year and plan to provide healthy meals and snacks to children afterschool, on weekends, and during school holidays through the Afterschool Meal Program. The Food Action and Research Center (FRAC) encourages program providers and sponsors of the Summer Food Service Program to consider the opportunity to participate in the Afterschool Meal Program during the school year.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 7th at 1:00 pm

Click here to register.

FRAC will discuss the programming requirements and administrative responsibilities involved in operating an Afterschool Meal Program and you will hear from program sponsors and providers who successfully transition from one meal program to the other. Learn how the children in your summer meal program can have access to nutritious meals year-round.


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Are You Registered to Vote?

As we get closer to the November elections, Google searches on how to register are increasing, which begs the question: Are you registered? Do you know how to sign up?

Pennsylvania and many other states require voter registration before Election Day - in Pennsylvania's case, voters must be registered one month ahead of time.  So if you recently moved, just turned 18, haven't voted in a while, or never registered before, the time to sign up is now.

PathWays PA has partnered with Rock the Vote to offer voter registration through this blog! You can fill out the form below to register or to make sure that you are registered.

Please take the time to register, and also consider pledging to vote in support of your economic values at!

PS - click here to share a voter registration link on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!

Register Now for National Audio Conferences on Job Scheduling

From our friends at CLASP Register now for three national audio conferences on job scheduling! Job schedules matter in many ways. For all workers, it helps when an employer is responsive to a request for a needed schedule change. And far too many workers have volatile and potentially destabilizing schedules. If you don't know when you are supposed to be at work until the last minute, how do you arrange child care or transportation? If your total hours fluctuate from week to week, how do you budget for rent and food? To address these issues and emerging policy opportunities, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is hosting and sponsoring three Job Schedules Matter audio conferences.

The conferences, which are co-sponsored by the Center for Popular Democracy and the National Women's Law Center, will include comments from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman George Miller on why they introduced the Schedules that Work Act. You'll also hear from workers about th…

Register for FRAC's Federal Nutrition Program Conference Calls

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) will host two public conference calls in October. Information on the calls follows below:
Breakfast Matters - Effective Messaging: Getting Positive Press in your Community

Thursday October 11, 3 – 4 pm ET
Click here to register.
Learn tips from a national communications firm about how to place your stories with local media and receive positive press coverage for your program.

Presenters: * Jon Dickl, School Nutrition Director, Knox County Schools, Tennessee
* Amber LaCroix, BRG Communications

Afterschool Meals Matter - Community Partnerships
Wednesday, October 17, at 1:00 pm EST

Click here to register.
Learn how you can connect with a myriad of community partners, from parent groups to corporate volunteer programs, who can offer you and your program their time, energy, and support. Community partners can assist you with meal preparation, programming, outreach to increase your participation, and ultimately to help build up community support and in…