Showing posts from June, 2011

Industry Partnership Bill Passes House, Heads to Senate

From our friends at The Pennsylvania Fund for Workforce Solutions

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously passed SB 552, the Industry Partnerships bill, today. Since the bill was amended in the House, it now returns to the Senate.

The bill will be referred to the Senate Rules Committee and then reported to the full Senate for an up or down vote. Senator Brubaker will continue his leadership in moving his bill through the Senate, but you can help by contacting members of the Rules Committee and advising them that they should support SB 552 as amended in the House. We are almost there!

Please help get SB 552 passed in the Senate so that we can get it to the Governor's desk. Send an e-mail to members of the Senate Rules Committee to let them know that a YES vote on SB 552 is essential.

What a Week: Community Budget Veto, Voter ID, and DPW Action and Updates

What a week in Harrisburg! The state's fiscal year ends today, but we are not done yet! We need your voice on a couple of key issues over the next two days.

1- Are you frustrated with what happened with the State Budget? Come to a Community Budget Veto on Friday!
2- Respond to Voter Suppression Vote by Sending Your Rep an Email today
3- Help Us Stop a Bill Giving DPW Authority to Cut Benefits With No Public Input

Are You Mad About the State Budget? Join us for a Community Veto of the PA budget on Friday.

This week, the PA legislature passed a budget that cuts funding for services, education & health care, without raising a dime of new revenue from the drilling of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale, or from the closing of corporate tax loopholes. Join community allies in a symbolic community veto of a budget that rewards a few while it harms our children and our communities. Governor Corbett isn't gonna veto that budget--but we are!

WHEN: Friday, July 1 · 12:00pm - 1:00…

Please Support PathWays PA as We Support Families and Children

As we close the books on this fiscal year, we are finishing one of most successful years from a services and advocacy standpoint.

While our programs have gained local, statewide, and national recognition, the recession continues to affect our bottom line.

During these economic times, we are asking you to make a small contribution: $33, or $1 for every year of service we have provided to women, children, and families in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Your support will help PathWays PA to provide the high quality services that continued to be recognized nationally for their excellence.
In the past year, PathWays PA has again received accreditation from the National Council on Accreditation for our work with children and in child welfare. Our child welfare programs have gained high marks with the Department of Human Services, while our EARN Center has very successfully assisted TANF clients in taking the next step to self-sufficiency. Our Transitional Living Program (TLP) has been …

*URGENT* PA House to Vote on Horrific Safety Net Bill

Please make calls today or tomorrow to your state representative and to Rep. Turzai, the House Majority Leader, and Rep. Dermody, the House Minority Leader. Ask them to vote NO on HB 960. It is expected to be voted on quickly after its passage in the PA Senate today.

HB 960 would give the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) unbridled power.

DPW would have the authority to make drastic cuts affecting Medical Assistance, SNAP (food stamps), child care, welfare-to-work, and cash assistance programs, without proper legislative oversight, or public comment. The cuts would hurt Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable seniors, women, children, victims of domestic violence and people with disabilities. In sum, the amendment would slash Pennsylvania’s safety net – without proper consideration by the General Assembly.

Representative Turzai can be reached at 717-772-9943 or

Representative Dermody can be reached at 717-787-3566 or

Contact informa…

PathWays PA Special Budget Alert: June 29, 2011

State Budget Update

Pa. Senate Approves $27.2 Billion State Budget

State legislative leaders and Governor Tom Corbett agreed on a 2011-12 state budget deal this week, and yesterday, the state Senate approved. The bill heads to the House of Representatives next.

It would spend just $27.2 billion, down $962 million, or 3.4%, from the 2010-11 budget.

Below is a highlight of funding levels as put together by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. For full funding details see the chart put together by the Budget and Policy Center.

Workforce Development
Despite the tough economy, many programs that help people prepare for and find good jobs are being cut.
Industry Partnership funding, which at one point was completely cut out of the budget, will receive $1,613,000, a decrease of $32,000. Keeping Industry Partnerships funded is a victory for workforce development, but full funding for this important program is clearly preferable.Adult and Family Literacy funding was decreased by over $2…

Earned Sick Days Bill Vetoed by Mayor Nutter

At around 2 PM yesterday, the Mayor announced he would be holding a press conference later in the afternoon to discuss the paid sick days bill at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.  So it was no great shock when, at 4:45 (after unsuccessful attempts in the Chamber offices to have Coalition members leave the premises), the mayor vetoed the bill behind closed doors.

Despite this veto, PathWays PA and the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces will continue working with City Council to do everything possible to support the 71 percent of Philadelphians who want paid sick days and the 210,000 workers (and their families) who need them.  Please continue to visit the Coalition's website, post on the Facebook page, and let us know what you are thinking via Twitter.  We will certainly be doing the same!

Below are some articles from the media on the veto.
June 29, 2011 - Philly Mayor’s Veto Won’t Halt Momentum for Paid Sick DaysJune 29, 2011 - Nutter Vetoes Paid-S…

Emergency Phone Bank on the Budget

From our friends at the SEPA Budget Coalition.

There is still time to push for alternatives to these devastating cuts.

Tonight, Tuesday, June 28th, 5pm - 8pm, and Tomorrow night, Wednesday, June 29th, 5pm-8pm
Location: High-tech phone bank trailer, 455 North Fifth Street, btwn Spring Garden and Callowhill. (Look for a large purple trailer in the parking lot of the SEIU Local 1201 building. This facility is air-conditioned. It is not wheelchair accessible.)

Please RSVP to

For more information, contact Kate Atkins at (215) 563-5848 x16 or (201) 344-3909 (cell).

PathWays PA Job Postings - June 2011

Director, Individual Donor and Corporate Relations and Special Events
Individual and corporate fundraiser sought to manage special events, individual, community group and corporate fundraising. Ideal for a mature professional who is seeking a position with a well-regarded non-profit. Public speaking experience and excellent writing skills are mandatory, as well as marketing and individual fundraising experience. This is an office-based position based in Delaware County, with visits to potential corporations and donors throughout the region. There are occasional speaking engagements/events on weekends and evenings. Please respond in confidence with resume and cover letter. Also please provide salary requirements that reflect the reality of working in a non-profit environment during a protracted economic downturn. Please fax resumes to: 610-328-2807, Attn: LD/Dev or e-mail through our website.

Learning Center Group Supervisor

More Updates on the State Budget

Here is what we are learning from the news media regarding the state budget:
The Philadelphia InquirerTemple, Lincoln, Pennsylvania State, and Pittsburgh are now facing a 19 percent cut as opposed to a 50% cut - "although that, too, was in jeopardy Monday night after some of the relevant bills failed to muster enough votes in either the House or Senate.According to Bill Adolph, funding bills for the universities will likely get pushed to the fall.  In other words, according to The Patriot-News, these universities will go into the fiscal year with no state funding, although there will be time to revisit this choice before summer recess begins.K-12 education would regain about $269 million of the $1.1 billion cut in the Governor's Budget, including $100 million in the Accountability Block Grant program, which funds all-day kindergarten and other early childhood education programs and $130 million in basic education aid.  Philadelphia schools will receive $22 million …

Industry Partnerships Passes the House

From our friends at PA Partners.

Thanks to your calls, letters and e-mails in support of Industry Partnerships, the Pennsylvania House Labor and Industry Committee unanimously approved SB 552, Senator Mike Brubaker's bill to establish the Industry Partnership program by statute! SB 552 must now be considered on three separate days by the full House of Representatives, and then the PA Senate must concur.

Before the bill was voted on, the Committee unanimously adopted one amendment to the proposal. This amendment was sought by the state's Career and Technical Administrators to clarify language regarding high priority occupations.

The PA Partners website will be updated with any additional information as the process unfolds. You may view those updates at

Details Released of the Proposed State Budget

A proposed state budget was just released. Here you can find the complete list of funding levels. While a full analysis of the budget is being worked on some of the highlights or in some cases lowlights include:
Industry Partnership – which at one point was completely cut out of the budget – will receive $1,613,000 (a decrease of $32,000)Adult and Family Literacy will receive $12,289,000 (a decrease of $2,598,000)County Child Welfare will receive $1,000,475,000 (a decrease of $45,132,000)Child Care Services will receive $154,265,000 (a decrease of $17,455,000) Child Care Assistance will receive $171,989,000 (a decrease of $17,593,000)New Directions will receive $17,183,000 (a decrease of $15,618,000)Maternal and Child Health will receive $887,000 (a decrease of $1,541,000)Homeless Assistance will receive $20,551,000 (a decrease of $2,283,000)Domestic Violence will receive $12,261,000 (a decrease of $124,000) More information will be posted once a complete analysis can be done. If yo…

PathWays PA E-Alert: June 27, 2011

URGENT! Mayor Nutter Needs to Hear From You on Paid Sick Days

We are so close! After years of coalition building, months of campaigning, weeks and weeks of in-person visits and phone calls, the Philadelphia City Council passed an Earned Sick Days policy on June 16th.

But we're not done yet! Mayor Nutter still hasn't come out in support of this policy, and we've got to ask him to sign the bill into law.

Take one minute, right now, to call the Mayor's office and let him know you support the Earned Sick Days bill and want to see it become law by calling 888-892-2110!

Here's a sample script you can use when you call: "I am calling today to let Mayor Nutter know that I strongly support the Earned Sick Days bill and I want to see it become law in Philadelphia. Do you know where the Mayor stands on the bill?"

Coalition partner Moms Rising has set up this toll-free number to the Mayor's office, complete with some short talking points, so it's super-easy t…

Pennsylvania Budget as of Monday Morning

As we get into what should be the last week of negotiating over the Pennsylvania state budget, here are some of the highlights of what we've read today:
The Senate will unveil details of their spending plan today, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. $100 million in accountability block grants for K-12 education that the House added to the governor's budget is expected to remain in the Senate budget.An assessment on hospitals will be raised, giving the state more access to federal funds for medical care of the uninsured. The University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University, Temple University, and Lincoln University will see funding cuts of 19%.According to The Times-Tribune, state revenue surpluses will be at $700 million by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.  Currently, that surplus is not part of budget spending.The budget will contain no new taxes and will spend $900 million less than the current state budget. It will restore $25 million in aid to public schools ab…

Audio Conference: Scheduling Challenges and Solutions for Low-Wage Workers

CLASP invites you to join them on June 28, 2011 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET for a national audio conference to discuss a new report, Flexible Workplace Solutions for Low-wage Hourly Workers: A Framework for a National Conversation. The report explores the scheduling challenges facing low-wage hourly workers - namely rigidity, unpredictability, and instability - and explores solutions to these problems, ranging from shift-swapping, the ability to alter start and end times, and predictable scheduling.

Speakers include:
Dr. Jennifer E. Swanberg, Associate Professor and Executive Director, iwin at the University of KentuckyLiz Watson, Executive Director, Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy and Former Legislative Counsel, Workplace Flexibility 2010
If you have any questions before the scheduled call, please submit them to and we will make sure to answer questions during or after the call.

Register now!

URGENT! Mayor Nutter Needs to Hear From You on Paid Sick Days

We are so close! After years of coalition building, months of campaigning, weeks and weeks of in-person visits and phone calls, the Philadelphia City Council passed an Earned Sick Days policy last Thursday on a very close 9-8 vote. This could not have happened without your hard work to let our elected representatives know that over 70% of us support this common sense approach to investing in and strengthening Philadelphia's workers and their families.

But we're not done yet! Mayor Nutter still hasn't come out in support of this policy, and we've got to ask him to sign the bill into law.

Take one minute, right now, to call the Mayor's office and let him know you support the Earned Sick Days bill and want to see it become law by calling 888-892-2110!

Here's a sample script you can use when you call: "I am calling today to let Mayor Nutter know that I strongly support the Earned Sick Days bill and I want to see it become law in Philadelphia. D…

PathWays PA E-Alert: June 20, 2011


On June 16, 2011 Philadelphia's City Council passed the earned sick days legislation (Bill No. 080474) by a vote of 9 to 8 under the leadership of PathWays PA and the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces. Thanks to this bill, the lives of over 200,000 workers, including working mothers, will be improved. Workers in our great city will be able to take care of themselves and loved ones without having to lose a day's pay or their job all together. This bill will ensure that workers are treated with the dignity they deserve.

The fight is not over though!

Now, we must encourage Mayor Nutter to sign this bill into law. Please call the Mayor at (215) 686-2181 and urge him to do the right thing by signing the Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (Bill 080474). Meanwhile, thanks to everyone who made this victory through their calls, postcards, visits, and lobbying City Council. Also, we would like to give a special thanks to the 107 organizations who make …

WE WIN! Philadelphia City Council Passes Earned Sick Day Bill

For Immediate Release:
June 16, 2011

Lauren Townsend, Philadelphia Earned Sick Day Campaign

Philadelphia City Council Passes Earned Sick Day Bill

All across the country, working families have been taking a beating.
We say to those workers: Come to Philadelphia! We are open for business

Philadelphia. Today is a great day for Philadelphia working people. Philadelphia City Council passed the earned sick day bill – sponsored by Councilman Darrell Clarke and Councilman Bill Greenlee.

Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (Bill 080474) will, after Mayor Nutter’s signature, allow Philadelphia workers the opportunity to earn up to 7 days of sick time per year for a large business and up to 4 days per year for a small business. The bill could affect up to 200,000 workers in Philadelphia who do not have access to paid sick days.

Earned, paid, sick days are supported by a majority of Philadelphia citizens (71%). Paid sick days are also supported by the…

PathWays PA Special Budget Alert: June 15, 2011


Spending cuts dominate the budget discussions in Washington and across the states. Most recently, the focus of this discussion has been Medicaid. There are several proposals on the table to create budget caps and/or block grants for Medicaid, which would fundamentally undermine and slash funding for the program. However, the majority (60% vs. 35%) of the American people oppose cuts to Medicaid, according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

It is critical to protect this intergenerational program by telling your senators to oppose cuts to Medicaid, both in the form of spending caps or vouchers. Join concerned citizens across the country on Thursday, June 16 and contact your senators, by e-mail or phone.
Call your Senators on Thursday by using the toll-free switchboard: 1-866-922-4970.
E-mail your member of Congress.

Thanks to our friends at LeadingAge, Families USA and NCOA for coordinating this day of action.

If you…

Use Your Superpowers to Support Paid Sick Days

As a kid, I wanted to be Wonder Woman. I watched the old TV show reruns, wore the Wonder Woman underroos, and pretended that every bracelet could repel bullets.

Even though I am a "grown-up," there is still part of me that wants to be Wonder Woman, which is why I am so excited that MomsRising is partnering with PathWays PA and the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces to help harness the superpowers that we have in support of paid sick days.

Using these powers is a lot easier than finding a magic lasso (believe me, I tried!). All you have to do is pick up your phone and call your City Councilperson. MomsRising has also set up a phone number to use to call the Mayor and tell him of your support - 888-892-2110.

Here is a sample script you can use:

"I am calling today to let Councilperson _____ (or Mayor Nutter) know that I strongly support Bill 080474, Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces, and I expect the Councilperson to support it as well. This bill w…

Marcellus Shale Update!

The legislature returned last week to begin the final stages of budget negotiations. The Senate has yet to officially consider HB1485, the House’s budget proposal, but informal discussions and negotiations have proceeded. In addition, according to an article in the Scranton Times, a top Senate Republican leader said he’s moving forward with the goal of having a Senate floor vote this month on his legislation to establish Marcellus Shale impact fees to help local towns affected by gas drilling operations. Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, R-Jefferson, said Wednesday he will consider proposals from other senators that address what zoning powers would be allowed to municipalities receiving impact fees. The legislature has a short window to consider this measure due to the session likely ending June 30th.

PathWays PA E-Alert: June 13, 2011


Make Calls Now in Support of Paid Sick Days!

PathWays PA, a founding member of the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces, is working with the Coalition to pass a bill in Philadelphia that would ensure all workers have the right to earn sick days. This bill could come up for a vote as soon as this week, but to get there, it needs your support!

Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces would create a minimum standard of sick days for the 210,000 workers in Philadelphia who must “choose” during an illness between the jobs they need and the families they love. Workers could earn 1 hour of sick time for every 40 hours they work, up to 56 hours per year in a business of 11 or more employees and up to 32 hours per year in a business of 10 or less employees.

If you live in Philadelphia, please call your City Councilperson today to show your support for the bill. Here’s a script that you can use:

“I am calling today to let Councilperson _____ know that I strongly support…