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Showing posts from August, 2016

Support Fixes to TANF!

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As we mentioned a few weeks ago, Community Legal Services released a report on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, or cash welfare) and the caseload decline in Pennsylvania. In 2014, at least 35,000 PA families with children receiving SNAP (food stamps) were poor enough to qualify for TANF but didn't receive it. For those who did qualify, the maximum grants allowed were very low - approximately $403/month for a family of 3, a number that hasn't increased since 1990.

The TANF caseload in PA has declined by over 300,000 adults and children since 1996, but since 2008, the number of people leaving because they had jobs has remained steady. So despite more people leaving TANF (or not entering the program), very low-income Pennsylvanians are not necessarily earning more.

In order to address the problems with TANF raised by this report, CLS is sharing two sign-on letters to Governor Wolf - one for organizations and one for individuals. Please take a moment to share your t…

Time to End the Ripoff Rule

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2016

PathWays PA joined together with 280 consumer, civil rights, labor, community, and non-profit organizations to emphasize strong and broad-based support for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s proposed rule to restrict the financial industry’s use of forced arbitration – a tactic used by Wall Street banks and predatory lenders to block consumers from challenging illegal behavior in court. In a joint comment letter submitted on the final day of the rule’s public comment period, the groups lauded the proposal as “a significant step forward in the ongoing fight to curb predatory practices in consumer financial products and services and to make these markets fairer and safer.” Read our letter here: http://ourfinancialsecurity.org/2016/08/letter-regulators-afr-280-groups-strongly-support-cfpb-action-forced-arbitration/.

In forced arbitration, banks and lenders bury “ripoff clauses” in the fine print of take-it-or-leave-it contracts to ensu…

Are You Registered to Vote?

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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 wewontwait2016.org!

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




New CLS Report: Mending the Safety Net

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Yesterday, Community Legal Services issued a report looking at the TANF caseload decline in Pennsylvania. Timed around the 20th anniversary of welfare reform (aka The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, or PRWORA), CLS looks at the reasons for caseload decline and makes recommendations on how Pennsylvania can ensure TANF actually helps poor families.

Here are some of the findings:

The PA TANF max grant (approx. $403/month) hasn't increased since 1990In 2014, at least 35,000 PA families with children receiving SNAP (food stamps) were poor enough to qualify for TANF but didn't receive itUnless exempt because of disability or good cause, TANF recipients MUST spend 20/30 hours per week working or in a work programTANF cash grants may be small, but they can help pay the rent, cover utilities, or buy diapers - all things SNAP can't doThe TANF caseload in PA has declined by over 300,000 adults and children since 1996, but since 2008, the number of people leaving bec…