Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Effect of FMAP Cut on Line Items in PA's Budget - Courtesy of The Advocate's Agenda

From The Advocate's Agenda, published by Cathleen Palm.  To sign up, please email Cathy at cpalm@theadvocatesagenda.com.  You can also go directly to the state budget website to see all line items in the newest budget.

August 31st – Two weeks ago Governor Rendell announced that he was “effectuating” his plan to plug the $282 million state spending deficit that exists as a result of Congress passing a smaller than promised enhanced federal Medicaid match rate (FMAP).

Included in Rendell’s plan was the decision to place approximately $200 million in recently enacted spending into budgetary reserve – a process Rendell assured meant that the “money will never be spent.”

Today, the Rendell Administration unveiled the appropriations that will be impacted by some percentage of a cut. While Rendell in mid August implied reductions would be across-the-board and rise to a cut of 1.9 percent there was always speculation that some discretionary lines would be insulated. Today’s detail reveals that not every discretionary line experienced a cut and not all cuts rose to the level of 1.9 percent. Examples of spending that was put in the deep freeze today include:

  • $339,000 for the State Food Purchase (help for local food banks);
  • $4.9 million for the state’s Accountability Block Grant program and a $1.6 million hit to Pre-K Counts and $729,000 for the Head Start Supplemental Assistance;
  • $8.86 million for county child welfare as well as a $63,000 reduction for local family centers;
  • $43,000 for the Juvenile Court Judges Commission;
  • $37,000 in prevention/evidence-based focused programming within the Executive Offices;
  • $100,000 for the improvement of juvenile probation services;
  • $1.03 million to local libraries
  • $524,000 to local health departments and $405,000 less for state health care centers
  • More than $17 million in Medical Assistance
  • $1.01 million for behavioral health services and $5.4 million for mental health services
  • Rape crisis will be reduced by $71,000 and domestic violence services is frozen out of $124,000
  • $235,000 is extracted from the Human Services Development Fund

Today’s frozen appropriations are necessary because when the 2010-2011 Commonwealth Budget was adopted in early July, Rendell and the General Assembly agreed to a final 2010-2011 Commonwealth Budget that banked on nearly $850 million from FMAP. FMAP extension eventually materialized in early August, but the approved bill included less FMAP assistance to the states than promised earlier in the year.

Today’s reductions come on top of cuts that were already enacted as part of the 2010-2011 Commonwealth Budget. For example (with today’s freeze included) here’s how a few appropriations have fared when compared to 2009-2010 funding:

  • $487,000 cut from the State Food Purchase (help for local food banks);
  • $16.8 million cut from the state’s Accountability Block Grant program and a $2.7 million hit to Pre-K Counts and $1.7 million for the Head Start Supplemental Assistance;
  • $11.5 million cut to county child welfare as well as a $63,000 reduction for local family centers;
  • $6.43 million cut to local libraries
  • Rape crisis reduced by $130,000 and domestic violence services is cut $226,000
  • $6.1 million has been extracted from the Human Services Development Fund

State officials, counties, service providers and advocates will now be tasked with figuring out exactly what today’s announcement means on the ground (i.e. the degree to which waiting lists for services will grow longer, prevention services that already have been trimmed back are now eliminated, how workers juggle more cases and chores, etc).

Become a WOW Economic Security Champion!

(From our friends at Wider Opportunities for Women)

What is economic security really? Are generations working together or at odds? Are we on the same page with American families? Do they have any idea what we are talking about?

Today, there are organizations and coalitions across the country with similar goals but many differing definitions of economic need. To address this, Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) will host five regional meetings as part of their Building Bridges to Economic Security Campaign to discuss findings of national public opinion research on economic security to help guide advocacy, education and outreach efforts to promote economic security throughout one’s lifetime.

To encourage participation, WOW is calling on organizations to become our Economic Security Champions. Champions are organizations willing to embrace the framework of promoting economic security over a lifetime. Champions will be designated as key regional meeting partners and receive a monetary award.

The meetings will provide a forum for an array of organizations on a local and state level concerned about the economic justice of all Americans to discuss their priorities, share strategies and build new alliances. The meetings will be held in:

  • Chicago, Illinois on Monday, September 20th
  • Los Angeles, California on Monday, September 27th
  • Denver, Colorado on Friday, October 1st
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Monday, October 4th
  • Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday, October 8th

WOW will draw on the findings of research conducted by Lake Research Partners to offer messaging approaches and advocacy tools on selected policy goals that are of interest to organizations like yours. Thus far, key partners in this effort are the Center for Community Change, the National Council of the Aging, the Community Action Partnership, the Center for Community Futures and the National Association of State Community Service Programs.

WOW encourages your organization to apply for the award and to spread the word to your networks.

If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Stellrecht

New Video on the Need for Sick Time in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania over 2.2 million workers do not have the ability to earn paid sick days. These are some of their stories.





To listen to these and other stories please visit the Working Families Story Bank.


A special thank you to WOMEN'S WAY, a member of the Coalition that put this video together.

Are You Ready For National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week?

National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week 2010 is a unique opportunity to lift every voice for adult education and family literacy. September 13 – 19, 2010 will mark Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, which was recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and supported by the National Coalition for Literacy. This week will be a one-time only dedication to raise public awareness of adult education and family literacy, assist adult learners in need of literacy services, and support increased access to adult education and family literacy programs. Use this opportunity to elevate adult education and family literacy nationwide with policymakers, the media, and the community.

Here are some things you can do for Adult Education and Family Literacy Week 2010:
  • Have awareness activities planned? If not, visit the NCL Advocacy Clearinghouse and Toolkit resource pages for quick ideas and resources. We update these pages daily.
  • Want to see others’ plans? Visit the NCL Blog article on gearing up to read what others plan to do. Post your plan in the Comments section.
  • Print banners; see the new hi-res banner and others created for you to use or adapt.
  • Prepare your press release. Adapt this one or use the Fact Finder to create your own.
  • Invite your Congressperson to attend the NCL Literacy Leadership Awards being held in D.C. on September 15. Forward this invite or send a personalized one.
  • Plan to take photos and share them online. Sign up for Flickr; join the National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week 2010 Group in preparation for sharing your photos. If you share your photos and geotag them, they will automatically be added to the Campaign Map.
  • Do you have a blog? Prepare your blog article now. The Fact Finder is a quick resource for you. Then email us with your article’s URL once it is live on your blog and we will feature your article here.
  • Are you on Twitter? Plan to raise awareness by tweeting adult education and family literacy facts. Find cut and paste tweets here or follow @NCLAdvocacy and #AEFLWeek and retweet those tweets. Your followers may retweet to their followers, and so on, raising awareness of adult education and family literacy with the public.
  • Contact your state office or state professional association to learn their plans for raising awareness in your state. Tap into activities they have planned.

Don’t delay, get ready today!

Support the Industry Partnership Program Today!

If you support the Industry Partnership program, please sign on today to a letter of support that will go out to the General Assembly.

Earlier this year, the State House unanimously passed a bill that would put the Industry Partnership program into statute, ensuring that it remains funded for years to come. Since then, a nearly identical Senate bill has been voted out of committee but now awaits the vote of the entire State Senate.

Unless legislators hear from you, this legislation will not be voted on before the end of the session. Without passing legislation to put the Industry Partnership program in statute, there is no guarantee that it will be funded next year.

Please take a moment to sign on today! You can read the letter of support at http://workforcepa.com/sign-letter-support-industry-partnership-legislation-click-link-bottom-page.

Support Tax Policies That Support Working Families!

(From our friends at Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children)

When Congress returns to Washington next month, they will have a number of important issues on their plate.  One of the most important items they will tackle will be tax policies for low- and moderate-income Americans, especially as they continue to deal with the impact of the recession. 

New tax policies enacted by Congress this fall should support working low- and moderate-income families – so parents can continue work and focus on raising their children rather than the basic costs of living.

Please sign onto a letter urging PA members of Congress to support targeted and fiscally responsible tax policies that help low- and moderate-income families.

If Congress doesn’t prioritize children and families, important policies like the Child Tax Credit for a parent working at minimum wage would be cut. It’s not enough to simply address federal tax policy this fall – Congress should take steps to be sure that efforts are family-friendly and will help low- and moderate-income families.

Please sign onto a letter urging PA members of Congress to support targeted and fiscally responsible tax policies that help low- and moderate-income families.

Please sign-on by close of business Tuesday, September 7, 2010.

image courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Form_1040EZ,_2005.jpg

Monday, August 30, 2010

Support Adult Literacy in Pennsylvania

During this recession, every penny counts as Pennsylvanians search for family-sustaining employment. However, penny-wise can be pound-foolish when it comes to funding the programs Pennsylvanians need to find those jobs.

Eighty percent of jobs in today’s economy require some form of education beyond high school. Since more than 750,000 adults in Pennsylvania (age 18-64) lack a high school diploma or GED, the only means they have of attaining these jobs is through adult education classes.

However, over the past two years, the budget allocation for adult literacy has decreased by 50%. Meanwhile, GED classes are filling more quickly than ever. Even though the fiscal year just began in July, many counties have run out of space in their programs and begun waiting lists.

If you support adult literacy, please write to your legislators today to let them know!

image courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Libri_books2.jpg

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: August 30, 2010

Federal

Use This Congressional Recess to Weigh In on SNAP

(from our friends at the Coalition on Human Needs)

When Congress returns from recess they will prepare to tackle Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act (HR 5504). Now is the time to contact your members of Congress and ask them to move forward with the bill without cutting SNAP (food stamps).

The recess provides a number of opportunities including:

- Schedule Site Visits and District Appointments. Members of Congress are home until September 13. Scheduling a site visit at a school, agency or out-of-school time program is a great way for Members to see the great activities that include the nutrition programs. Or schedule a time to meet with your Member in person or through a "community conference call." For more information on either of these options, contact Etienne Melcher or Ellen Teller.

- Paper Plate Campaign. Use FRAC's food hardship data to highlight the need in your congressional district for a strong child nutrition bill that doesn't cut SNAP benefits. While members are home, you can deliver or mail the plates to the district office closest to you. Can't get to an office? Decorate a plate and take a picture of it. You can post the picture online and send it to your Member's office. Contact Etienne Melcher if you need any assistance.

- Keep Those Calls Coming. Call your House Member and the White House during the summer recess to urge passage of H.R. 5504 without SNAP benefit cuts. Call toll-free, 1-877-425-4810, to connect to your Representative. The number at the White House switchboard is 202-456-1414.

- Use Facebook? Update your status with this message: "Wants you to call your Members and ask them to pass HR 5504 without cutting SNAP benefits."

- Keep Circulating the Sign-on Letter Opposing SNAP Benefit Cuts. More than 1,600 national, state, and community-based organizations have joined the letter opposing cuts to SNAP benefits. If you haven't signed on yet, now is a great time to do so. Make sure your colleagues and networks are on the letter as well.

Information/Events

7th Congressional District Jobs Fair

This event will include a service fair that connects community members in search of employment with employers, educators, and non-profit organizations who will be able to provide information on job training, resume building, and other resources.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - 1:00PM-5:00PM

WHERE: McCall Meeting and Conference Center 204 North Lynn Blvd., Upper Darby, PA 19082

To pre-register for the event, visit http://www.sestak.house.gov.

If you have any questions, please contact Wally Hays at walter.hays@mail.house.gov or 610-892-8623.

Learn More About the “Social Security for All Generations Call-in Day” (September 13, 2010)

Six and a half million children in the United States receive part of their family income from Social Security through survivors, retirement and disability benefits as well as the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program.

Join the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) for a webinar that will discuss how to raise awareness about the importance of Social Security for all generations. This webinar will provide a brief primer on how Social Security benefits children, advocacy materials for your network, and review the call-in day process.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 31 1:00 – 2:00

The day after Grandparents Day, all generations will join together to contact Members of Congress to make sure they understand how children, as well as older Americans, benefit from Social Security. Join the webinar and learn how you can get involved on September 13th.

Space is limited so please reserve your Webinar seat now.

Register Today: What Women Need to Know for a Secure Retirement

It’s tougher for women to achieve a secure retirement as women generally earn less than men and live longer. But there are steps you can take to prepare for retirement, whether you’ve just started working or are nearing retirement age.

The National Women’s Law Center is hosting a two-part series of free webinars for service providers, advocates, and individuals. The first webinar focuses on women and Social Security, the second on pensions and savings.

Register today! These online workshops are free to participants, but registration is required.

Planning for the Future: What Women Need to Know About Social Security

WHEN: Wednesday, September 8, 2010, 1:00

Find out more about the benefits Social Security can provide, including before retirement, and about how your decisions (and your spouse’s, if you are married) about when to claim benefits can affect your retirement income.

Planning for the Future: What Women Need to Know About Pensions and Savings

WHEN: Thursday, September 16, 2010, 1:00

Find out more about ways you can save for retirement and manage your savings to improve your retirement security.

There is no reason to be intimidated by retirement planning. The webinars, part of the National Women’s Law Center’s Citi Education Series on Family Economic Security, will give you some tips and strategies to obtain peace of mind.

A Voter Participation Starter Kit for Nonprofits and Social Service Agencies

Nonprofit Vote is announcing the release of their newest guide, the Voter Participation Starter Kit, which is available for nonprofits. The Voter Participation Starter Kit advises locally based nonprofits on how to integrate nonpartisan voter engagement activities into their ongoing services with clients and constituents - as well as staff, board, and volunteers.

The kit covers the basics of:
  • Voter Registration
  • Voter Education
  • Working with Candidates
  • Get out the Vote and Election Day Activities
Order your copy of the Starter Kit today. November 2nd is less than two months away and there is still plenty that your organization can do to make sure your community is involved, voting, and represented.

Census Poverty Data Webinar on September 7: Register Today

In September, the Census will release 2009 data showing the disturbing impact of the recession. The Coalition on Human Needs is holding a pre-Census release training to provide important tools for understanding the data. Learn what to look for and how to get what you need fast.

WHEN: Tuesday, September 7, 2:00

The Training Session Will:
1) Help people understand what kinds of poverty, income, and health insurance data will be available from the U.S. Census Bureau on September 16 and then on September 28;
2) Provide educated guesswork about what the data will show; and
3) Present ideas about important messages to include in talking and writing about the survey results.

The Census Bureau's annual release of data about poverty, income, and health insurance will show the impact of the deepest recession since the Great Depression. It may show the biggest one-year increase in all the years such data has been collected. This webinar will help you get ready to understand and use this important information.

Register today for this and other upcoming Census data webinars.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Take Action for Women's Equality Day (August 26)!

Suffrage Pageant, 1913
In the United States, August 26th is recognized as Women's Equality Day to commemorate the full voting rights given to women when the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920. This year we mark the 90th year of full voting rights for women and take this opportunity to focus on the inequities that remain.

Take Action Now!

On Women's Equality Day this year, 9to5: The National Association of Working Women, PathWays PA, and The Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces are inviting its members, activists, volunteers, allies and others to speak out, raise awareness, and take action for our paid sick days campaign.

Celebrate Women's Equality!

Nearly 40 million private sector employees have no access to earned sick days, including a high proportion of women. According to a survey released in June 2010, while 71 percent of men surveyed reported having paid sick days, only 57 percent of women earned the same benefit. Low-wage workers and workers in female-dominated fields like childcare and food service are far less likely to have access to earned sick days.

There are three ways that you can take action:
Sign our petition in support of earned sick days.
Write a letter to your legislators letting them know how important earned sick days are to you.
Write a letter to the editor (with our easy new letter-writing software) talking about the difference earned sick days can make.

Thank you for taking the time to make a difference and for celebrating Women's Equality Day!

image courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Suffrage_pageant_Washington_1913.jpg

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Webchat on Women's Equality Day at 4:30 Today

In honor of Women’s Equality Day, Tina Tchen, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, is participating in a live webchat at 4:30pm. Watch the chat and/or read more about it.

You can read more about the White House Council on Women and Girls at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/cwg.


(photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LG_L194WT-SF_LCD_monitor.jpg// http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ )

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Use This Congressional Recess to Weigh In on SNAP

(from our friends at the Coalition on Human Needs)

As Congress prepares to tackle Child Nutrition Reauthorization (HR 5504) when it returns from break, now is the time to ask them to move forward with the bill without cutting SNAP (food stamps)


The August recess provides a number of opportunities:

- Schedule Site Visits and District Appointments. Members of Congress are home until September 13. Scheduling a site visit at a school, agency or out-of-school time program is a great way for Members to see the great activities that include the nutrition programs. Or schedule a time to meet with your Member in person or through a "community conference call." For more information on either of these options, contact Etienne Melcher or Ellen Teller.

- Paper Plate Campaign. Use FRAC's food hardship data to highlight the need in your community (congressional district) for a strong child nutrition bill that doesn't cut SNAP benefits. While members are home, you can deliver or mail the plates to the district office closest to you. Can't get to an office? Decorate a plate and take a picture of it. You can post the picture online and send it to your Member's office. Contact Etienne Melcher if you need any assistance.

- Keep Those Calls Coming. Call your House Member and the White House during the summer recess to urge passage of H.R. 5504 without SNAP benefit cuts. Call toll-free, 1-877-425-4810, to connect to your Representative. The number at the White House switchboard is 202-456-1414.

- Use Facebook? Update your status with this message: "Wants you to call your Members and ask them to pass HR 5504 without cutting SNAP benefits."

- Keep Circulating the Sign-on Letter Opposing SNAP Benefit Cuts. More than 1,600 national, state, and community-based organizations have joined the letter opposing cuts to SNAP benefits. If you haven't signed on yet, now is a great time to do so. Make sure your colleagues and networks are on the letter as well.

image courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fork.agr.jpg

Op-Ed in Patriot News on the Need for Earned Sick Time

"Paid sick days legislation makes sense for all businesses"

by Carol Goertzel, President/CEO of PathWays PA

When Tiffany Lomax hears her son’s breath get shorter, she knows what is coming next.

Her chest constricts in sympathy with him as he begins to cough and wheeze, and together they fight for control over his asthma. But Tiffany can now care for her son with a little more peace of mind. She knows that, if needed, she can get him to the doctor or hospital without risking her job — all because she earns paid sick days. 
To read the whole story, please visit the Patriot-News website, and be sure to add your comments to the discussion!

Monday, August 23, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: August 23, 2010

House Labor Relations Committee Held Hearing on Earned Sick Time Bill

On August 17, the House’s Labor Relations Committee held a hearing to discuss the Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act (HB 1830), which gives Pennsylvania’s workers the opportunity to earn up to 6.5 days (52 hours) of paid sick time.  Workers would be permitted to use the hours they earn to care for themselves or a family member when they are sick or in instances of domestic violence.

PathWays PA, along with other members of the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces, attended and testified at the hearing.  Prior to the hearing, Coalition members met with legislators to talk about this important issue and held a press conference.  Even in the dog days of summer, the Coalition was able to make a great deal of progress on moving toward allowing workers in Pennsylvania to earn paid sick days.

To learn more about this issue please and to learn about our day in Harrisburg visit the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces Blog.

PathWays PA Action Alerts


PathWays PA is proud to offer a new way to contact your legislators directly about important issues.  Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out action alerts that will allow you to send targeted emails directly to your state and federal representatives on the issues that are important to you.


Let Your Legislators Know That Earned Sick Days Are Important To You!

If you support earned sick time, please let your legislator know today!

Currently in Pennsylvania 2.2 million workers have no earned sick time, and a majority of employees without this benefit work in food service and care giving positions. When workers without earned sick time are sick, they have to choose between going to work – where they could potentially infect co-workers or customers – and staying home – where they will lose pay and possibly their jobs.

When Motherhood Comes Up In The Job Interview

When you go on an interview, employers can't ask you about your race or religion.  But to the surprise of many, employers can ask about marital and familial status - and they do.   Kiki Peppard learned all about the impact of these questions when, after moving to Pennsylvania over 15 years ago, 19 employers in a row asked whether she was married and had children.  After learning she was a single mother, they all terminated the interviews.

Research shows that mothers, including single mothers, face discrimination and negative stereotyping when they look for employment.  While these questions seem close to sex discrimination, nothing prohibits interviewers from asking them so long as they ask both men and women.

In Pennsylvania, HB 2245 would amend the Human Relations Act to prohibit this type of discrimination by making it illegal to ask the following questions:
  • Are you married?
  • Do you have children? 

If you feel that the Human Relations Act should be amended, please contact your legislators today!


Federal

Act Now to Protect Students from Unmanageable Debt

The U.S. Department of Education has proposed new rules to protect students and taxpayers from career education programs that do not provide students with the education or training they need and to protect students from unmanageable debt.

Federal law requires career education programs that receive federal student aid to "prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation." Too many of these programs rope in students with deceptive marketing and aggressive sales tactics, provide substandard training, and leave students with debt they can not pay back.  By defining "gainful employment," the proposed rules finally make it possible to enforce this important law.

A national coalition of advocates for students, consumers, civil rights and higher education is calling for stronger rules, and they need your voice, too.

Tell the Administration that the proposed "gainful employment" rules are a welcome start, but they need strengthening!

Visit www.protectstudentsandtaxpayers.org to call for stronger rules, and please help spread the word. The time allowed for commenting is short, and early comments have the most impact, so please send in your comments today.

State

Plan to Close Remaining Budget Deficit

With FMAP funding being less than what the state had budgeted for, a $282 million hole needs closing.  The Governor has a two-part plan to do so.

The first part includes across-the-board cuts in departmental spending, including the layoff of 100 state workers by early September.  The Governor expects to save $212 million by making a 1.9 percent cut in the budgets of dozens of agencies. In addition, he is urging the General Assembly, independent agencies, and state courts to cut their 2010-11 spending by the same amount.

The second part includes the enactment of a new severance tax on the natural gas being pumped from Marcellus Shale. It is anticipated that this would raise $70 million in new revenue from that levy. 
If the tax is not enacted by early October or if agencies and the legislature do not trim their budgets, the additional layoffs may be necessary. 

Information/Events

9to5’s National Day of Action: Healthy Workplace, Paid Sick Days Now

On Thursday, August 26, 2010 - Women’s Equality Day - 9to5 invites you, along with its members, activists, volunteers, allies and others to speak out, raise awareness and take action for paid sick days.

The 9to5 National Day of Action - Healthy Workplaces: Paid Sick Days Now! is designed to call the nation’s attention to the need for proposed federal legislation, the Healthy Families Act (H.R. 2460, S. 1152), which would guarantee paid sick days for every American worker. The day will also build and heighten support for paid sick days legislative campaigns underway in states and cities around the nation.

Wherever you live, there is something you can do to join the Day of Action.   Download the Activist Network Toolkit for tips, tools and ideas to get active in your neighborhood or workplace.  Email activist@9to5.org to sign up today!

No one should have to make the impossible choice between their job and their own health or the health of their loved ones. 9to5 strongly supports the Healthy Families Act (HFA), federal legislation that would allow workers to earn up to 7 paid sick days per year.

Take action today so that workers are not forced to choose between the family they love and job they need.  And don’t forget to also contact your state legislators to allow Pennsylvania’s workers to earn paid sick time!

Help Save the Way to Work Program – Participant Meeting

Pennsylvania’s Way to Work program was designed to stimulate job growth and the economy.  Through the program, employers can hire new employees and that employee’s wages would be subsidized by the state up to $13 an hour.  In addition, employees hired will receive a range of services from career guidance to occupational training. 

The Way to Work Program has recently begun employing thousands of people in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia.  Many businesses, government agencies and non-profits benefit from the work of re-employed Pennsylvanians. Unfortunately, the program is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2010 and thousands who have just started working will be let go from those jobs. 

If you or your clients participate in the Way to Work Program, they can work to help save this program by extending it for a year. 

WHEN: Thursday August 26, 7:00 PM
WHERE: Philadelphia Unemployment Project, 112 N. Broad St. 11th Floor, Philadelphia PA

Pizza and child care will be provided at the meeting.  If you have questions please call 215-557-0822.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Written Testimony from August 17, 2010 Hearing on Earned Sick Time

For those of you interested in reading the testimony from the hearing, you can find it all right here!

Carol Goertzel, President/CEO, PathWays PA
E---------------, Affected Worker
Department of Health
Robert Drago, Ph. D., Research Director, Institute for Women's Policy Research
Rebecca Foley, Director of Education & Advocacy Initiatives, WOMEN'S WAY
Kate Etherington, Senior Program Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility
Sam Denisco, Director of Government Affairs, PA Chamber of Business and Industry
Carol Tracy, Executive Director, Women's Law Project

Testimony submitted for the record:
Richard Bloomingdale, President, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO
Donna Levitt, Manager, Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (San Francisco)
Dr. James Plumb, Professor, Thomas Jefferson University
K.C. Moylan, Chief Operation Officer, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Inc.
Susan Kavchok, Childspace Management Group, Inc.

Plan to Close Remaining State Budget Deficit

With FMAP funding being less than what the state had budgeted for, a $282 million hole needs to closing. The Governor has a two-part plan.

The first part includes across-the-board cuts in departmental spending, including the layoff of 100 state workers by early September. The Governor expects to save $212 million by making a 1.9 percent cut in the budgets of dozens of agencies. In addition, he is urging the General Assembly, independent agencies, and state courts to cut their 2010-11 spending by the same amount.

The second part includes the enactment of a new severance tax on the natural gas being pumped from Marcellus Shale. It is anticipated that this would raise $70 million in new revenue from that levy.

If the tax is not enacted by early October or if agencies and the legislature do not trim their budgets, the additional layoffs may be necessary.

Need for Earned Sick Days Front and Center in Harrisburg This Week

Koortsthermometers-AFEC-0120-Lot240901+Hartmann-0123-Lot3499Thanks to Family Values @ Work for posting about earned sick days!

On Tuesday, the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces in Pennsylvania traveled to Harrisburg to shine a light on the need for earned sick time – and to turn up the heat on legislators to pass the earned sick time bill.
You can read the full post here.

When Motherhood Comes Up In The Job Interview

When you go on an interview, employers can't ask you about your race or religion.  But to the surprise of many, employers can ask about marital and familial status - and they do.   Kiki Peppard learned all about the impact of these questions when, after moving to Pennsylvania over 15 years ago, 19 employers in a row asked whether she was married and had children.  After learning she was a single mother, they all terminated the interviews.

Research shows that mothers, including single mothers, face discrimination and negative stereotyping when they look for employment.  While these questions seem close to sex discrimination, interviewers are not prohibited from asking them so long as they ask both men and women.

The information that potential employers learn about an interview's familial status often becomes a factor in whether or not they hire a candidate - even though that information has nothing to do with how qualified a person is for the job.  The Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Committee has testified that some Pennsylvania employers do base their hiring decisions, wage rates, and even terminations on marital and familial status.

In Pennsylvania, HB 2245 would amend the Human Relations Act to prohibit this type of discrimination by making it illegal to ask the following questions:
  • Are you married? 
  • Do you have children?  
If you feel that the Human Relations Act should be amended, please contact your legislators today.  And if you want to learn more, watch Kiki Peppard talk about maternal profiling on Good Morning America August 21!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Articles from Yesterday's Hearing on an Earned Sick Days Bill


Below are some articles published about the House Labor Relations Committee’s hearing held yesterday on the Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Bill (HB 1830).

Push to mandate paid sick leave - Pocono Record

PA bill would mandate workplace sick leave - Post-Gazette

Paid sick leave proposal in PA gets renewed push - KYW 1060

Speakers Weigh-in on Bill Requiring Paid Sick Leave – DUQ 90.5 FM Blog (Pittsburgh's NPR Station)

Pathways PA, Gergely Urge Support for Paid Sick Leave - PLS

Lawmaker says sick workers should stay home - and still get paid - Capitolwire (subscription required)

New bill could guarantee sick leave for minimum wage workers - ABC 27

Help Save adultBasic!

(from our friends at the PA Health Access Network)

If you haven't already taken the time to sign our online petition "Save adultBasic" please do so now! adultBasic is a critical program that helps nearly 46,000 Pennsylvanians who make a little too much for Medicaid. If this program dies, they might too.

Kathy from Doylestown said, "I am a working mom with Lyme Disease. adultBasic allowed me to receive the care I needed. I was later diagnosed with a pre-cancerous condition of the cervix which needed an operation. Without adultBasic I would not have had the proper diagnosis and would have most likely died from cervical cancer."

Help Kathy and 46,000 Pennsylvanians right now by going to our online petition and adding your name. Then forward the petition or this email to your family and friends!

Also, you can join the Facebook Group to Save adultBasic.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Let Your Legislators Know That Earned Sick Days Are Important To You!

PathWays PA is proud to offer a new way to contact your legislators directly about important issues.  Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out action alerts that will allow you to send targeted emails directly to your state and federal representatives on the issues that are important to you.

Our first email is targeted to tomorrow's hearing on Earned Sick Time by the House Labor Relations Committee.  If you support earned sick time, please let your legislator know today!

Currently in Pennsylvania 46 percent of workers have no earned sick time, and a majority of employees without this benefit work in food service and care giving positions. When workers without earned sick time are sick, they have to choose between going to work – where they could potentially infect co-workers or customers – and staying home – where they will lose pay and possibly their jobs.

Press Conference 8/17/10 at 12 PM in Capitol Rotunda: One Size Doesn’t Fit All When it Comes to Sick Days However, No One Should Have to Live with Extra Small

In Pennsylvania, approximately 46% of all workers do not have access to earned sick days.

HARRISBURG— On August 17, the House’s Labor Relations Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act (HB 1830), which gives Pennsylvania’s workers the opportunity to earn up to 6.5 days (52 hours) of paid sick time. Workers would be permitted to use the hours they earn to care for themselves or a family member when they are sick. This bill has the support of the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces, which is made up of a broad range of workers, nonprofit organizations, labor groups, and legislators.

Currently in Pennsylvania 46% of workers have no earned sick days, and a majority of employees without this benefit work in food service and care giving positions. When workers without earned sick days are sick, they have to choose between going to work – where they could potentially infect co-workers or customers – and staying home – where they will lose pay and possibly their job.

“In Pennsylvania, you shouldn’t have to risk your job to take care of your family,” said Carol Goertzel, President/CEO of PathWays PA. “We are in the 21st century, but our workplaces are operating under 19th century rules. If we believe in family values, those values should not stop at the workplace door.”

Earned sick days allows families to stay economically secure while they keep their families physically secure. The fear of job loss when workers have no access to sick days is very real. Nearly one in four workers without paid sick days (23 percent) in a recent poll has lost a job or been told they would lose it for taking time to care for a sick family member or a personal illness.

Providing earned sick days has proven to be smart for businesses as well as for workers. Research shows that the costs of replacing workers, including advertising, interviewing and training new employees, far outweighs the cost of retaining employees by offering earned sick days. Additionally, presenteeism, when workers come to work sick, costs the national economy about 180 billion a year in lost productivity versus absenteeism. Furthermore, under this bill, businesses can use the sick days, vacation days, and personal days they already offer to match up with the 6.5 days that workers earn each year. This flexibility allows employers to create the policy that best fits their business, without leaving employees struggling to fit into an “extra small.”

Speakers at tomorrow’s press conference will include:
  • Representative Marc Gergely
  • Carol Goertzel, President/CEO of PathWays PA
  • Robert Drago, Ph.D., Research Director for the Institute for Women's Policy Research
  • Kate Etherington, Senior Program Director for the Philadelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility
  • Rebecca Foley, Director of Education and Advocacy Initiatives, WOMEN'S WAY

###
PathWays PA began in 1978 as the Women's Association for Women's Alternatives, one of Pennsylvania's first residential programs to keep low-income, vulnerable women together with their children. It has grown to become one of the Greater Philadelphia region's foremost providers of residential and community-based services for women and their children. Each year PathWays PA serves more than 6000 women, children and families who reside in Philadelphia, Delaware, and Chester counties through a full complement of social services, job training and employment assistance, outreach and residential programs.

The Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces is a group of organizations supporting the need for earned sick days in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. It is primarily coordinated by PathWays PA and WOMEN’S WAY. Coalition members include

Childspace CDI ▪ CLASP ▪ Coalition of Labor Union Women ▪ Institute for Women's Policy Research ▪ Maternity Care Coalition ▪ MomsRising ▪ National Partnership for Women & Families ▪ National Organization for Women (Philadelphia Chapter) ▪ PathWays PA ▪ People's Emergency Center ▪ Philadelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility ▪ Philadelphia Security Officers Union ▪ SEIU ▪ The Campaign for Working Families ▪ Women's Law Project ▪ WOMEN'S WAY ▪ Women Vote PA


PathWays PA E-Newsletter: August 16, 2010

State

House Labor Relations Committee to Hold Hearing on Earned Sick Time Bill

On August 17, the House’s Labor Relations Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act (HB 1830), which gives Pennsylvania’s workers the opportunity to earn up to 6.5 days (52 hours) of paid sick time. Workers would be permitted to use the hours they earn to care for themselves or a family member when they are sick or in instances of domestic violence.

Currently in Pennsylvania 46 percent of workers have no earned sick time, and a majority of employees without this benefit work in food service and care giving positions. When workers without earned sick time are sick, they have to choose between going to work – where they could potentially infect co-workers or customers – and staying home – where they will lose pay and possibly their jobs.

Please join advocates in Harrisburg for a press conference to discuss the need for earned sick time in the Capitol Rotunda at 12:00, with the hearing will follow at 1:00. If you cannot make it to Harrisburg, please contact your State Representative and let him or her know how important earned sick time is for Pennsylvania’s workers.

To learn more about this issue, please visit the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces Blog.

FMAP Passes: What It Means for Pennsylvania

Last week, legislation to provide additional funding to states passed and was signed by the President. Over $16 billion in funding will now go to states to bolster their weakened budgets. Pennsylvania will receive approximately $600 million from FMAP and almost $400 million in federal education funding.

Even with this additional funding, Pennsylvania will have a budgetary gap of between $200 million and $250 million. Current proposals to close the gap include:
  • 1.9% cuts across the board in discretionary appropriations (expected to total $198 million, including a $50 million cut in basic education funding)
  • 1.9% cut to legislature (totaling $6 million)
  • 1.9% cut to courts (totaling $5 million)
  • 1.9% cut to elected independents (totaling $3 million)
Please contact your state legislators today to support the important services that Pennsylvania's families continue to rely on in these tough economic times.

Information/Events

Future of the Way to Work Program Planning Meeting

Pennsylvania’s Way to Work program was designed to stimulate job growth and the economy. Through the program, employers can hire new employees and that employee’s wages would be covered up to $13 an hour. In addition, employees hired will receive a range of services from career guidance to occupational training.

The Way to Work Program has recently begun employing thousands of people in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. Many businesses, government agencies and non-profits are currently benefiting from the work of re-employed Pennsylvanians. Unfortunately, the program is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2010 and thousands who have just started working will be let go from those jobs.

WHEN: Thursday August 19, 11AM
WHERE: Philadelphia Unemployment Project, 112 N. Broad St. 2nd Floor, Philadelphia PA

Pennsylvania Labor and Industry Secretary Sandi Vito will be a special guest at this meeting.

Efforts are being made in Congress to extend the program and a coalition is being built to support the continuation of the Way to Work program in Pennsylvania. Employers and employees are encouraged to become involved in efforts to save these jobs and services.

SafeLink Wireless

SafeLink Wireless is a government-supported program that provides a free cell phone and airtime each month for income-eligible customers. This program is available in 26 states, including Pennsylvania.
To be eligible for this program in Pennsylvania a household’s income must be at or below 135 percent of the Federal Poverty Level or they must be already participating in one of the following programs:
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance / Section 8
  • Food Stamps
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • National School Lunch (free program only)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Medicaid
  • State Blind Pension
To learn more about this program or to apply by calling 1-800-SAFELINK or visit www.SafeLink.com.

National PTA Offers Back-to-School Advice

September is just a few weeks away, which means summer is almost over and kids will soon be back in school. To assist parents with preparing their children for school the National PTA has created a Back to School Central web resource. This resource provides expert advice to prepare your students to go back to school.
You can also join the conversations in the PTA Great Idea Bank. Other parents and PTA members share success stories, discuss ideas and answer each others' questions on this safe, secure social networking platform.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Proposed Budget Cuts

Sources say that in meetings with legislative leaders today, Governor Rendell made the following proposals to close the budget gap left by FMAP funding.  Currently, the proposal seems to involve the following:
  • 1.9% cuts across the board in discretionary appropriations (expected to total $198 million, including a $50 million cut in basic education funding)
  • 1.9% cut to legislature (totaling $6 million)
  • 1.9% cut to courts (totaling $5 million)
  • 1.9% cut to elected independents (totaling $3 million)
Governor Rendell also expects to use $70 million in funding from a proposed tax on Marcellus Shale.

As many of you know, FMAP passed out of the House yesterday, but at lower levels than the state originally budgeted.  Pennsylvania will be receiving approximately $600 million instead of $850 million from FMAP.

image courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Skalm_2.JPG

Vote for Homes Voter Registration Training


Starting next week, Vote for Homes be holding voter registration trainings at Project H.OM.E. You’re invited to come for a refresher if you’ve done voter registration in the past, or come for the first time. They will also hold a special “Train the Trainer” session for people who want to learn how to train other volunteers to do voter registration.

“Train the Trainer” Session
Thursday, August 19, 1-4 pm, 1515 Fairmount Ave.

  • Learn how to conduct Voter Registration trainings with your organization
  • Practice group facilitation skills
  • This training is targeted towards people who have the opportunity to run trainings in their network or organization

Voter Registration Trainings, 1515 Fairmount Ave.
Monday, August 23, 5:30-7:30 pm
Sunday, September 12, 3-5 pm
Thursday, September 16, 4-6 pm

  • Learn about voting rights for people who are homeless, living with disabilities, or ex-offenders
  • Learn how to register voters

Please RSVP to at annamurphey@projecthome.org or call 215-232-7272 ext. 3106 if you plan to attend or have any questions.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

FMAP Passes House, On Its Way to the President

As expected, FMAP spending was concurred on by the House of Representatives today, setting the stage for the bill to be signed by President Obama.  Over $16 billion in funding will now go to states to bolster their weakened budgets. Pennsylvania will receive approximately $600 million from FMAP and almost $400 million in federal education funding.

Even after the funding, Pennsylvania will have a budgetary gap of between $200 million and $250 million.  Governor Rendell and state legislators are scheduled to meet tomorrow to discuss how best to meet that gap.  Please contact your state legislators today to support the important services that Pennsylvania's families continue to rely on in these tough economic times.

image courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:OvalMedallion.jpg

PathWays PA Job Postings - August 10, 2010

Residential Worker
Need caring and motivated individual to provide support and supervision for Delco group home serving women and children; HS/GED, Associates Degree and experience preferred; driver’s license required. Includes nights and weekends. Fax resumes to: LD/CFF 610-328-2807.

Childcare Worker
Child Learning Center at Delco Group home. Must have knowledge of early childhood development & ability to nurture and promote positive growth in pre school age children. AA in Early Childhood Ed. preferred. Salary $12/hour. Fax resume to LD/CFF 610-328-2807.

Case Manager - Center for Families
Delco Group home - Full time to provide family case management. and counseling services; coordination of medical, mental health and education services. Must have understanding of homelessness and child welfare issues. Knowledge of community resources helpful. Valid driver's license a must. BSW or related degree required. Resumes to LD/CFF 610-328-2807. EOE

Trauma-informed Therapists
PathWays PA is seeking quality therapists to provide trauma-informed therapeutic services to women, teen mothers and teen girls in their homes. Must be trained-in trauma-informed services and be familiar with the S.E.L.F. model; must also be comfortable addressing sexual abuse and domestic violence issues. Flexible hours required. LSW and credentialed/eligible to be credentialed to provide services to CBH members required. Philadelphia and some DELCO area. Full time and Part time position available. Fax resumes to: LD/BD 610-328-2807

Live-in Advisor
To provide guidance, direction and supervision to older adolescent teen mothers and teen girls residing in our Supervised Independent Living Program including conducting some life and parenting skill groups. Live in a house with 3 to 4 girls and their children. Must be available during critical hours-5:00 PM to 8:00 AM- can work part-time during off hours. Must be mature and have an understanding of teen parent and teen girl issues and must have knowledge of basic life skills. Rent and utilities paid by agency plus small stipend and scheduled time off. Location: Phila; Compensation: Stipend. Fax resumes to LD/BD at 610-328-2807.

ESL Instructor
Part Time – PathWays PA is currently seeking English as Second Language (ESL) instructors with BA/BS degree and 2 + years of teaching experience. Knowledge of ESL in healthcare field preferred. Must travel independently in Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, and Bucks Counties. Lesson-planning and attendance record-keeping, and assessments required. This is a part-time, hourly position. Bilingual a plus. Classes forming now, anticipate completion by the end of December. Fax resumes to LD/LK 610-328-2807.

Math Instructor
Part Time – PathWays PA in Delaware County is looking for a math instructor to work with adult workers preparing for skills building and college-level entrance exams. The applicant must have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in math or education, and would be responsible for teaching class in different locations, potentially in Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, and Bucks Counties. Lesson-planning and attendance record-keeping, and assessments required. This is a part-time, hourly position. Classes forming now; anticipate completion by the end of December. Fax resumes to LD/LK 610-328-2807.

PathWays PA is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Monday, August 9, 2010

PathWays PA Job Postings - August 2010

Please visit our August 10 posting for a revised listing.

Press Conference to Support FMAP

(from our friends at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Budget Coalition and HCAN)

On August 10, 2010, a bipartisan press conference will be held in Media, PA, in support of FMAP funding (which creates a temporary increase in federal funding of Medicaid and Medical Assistance for states).  The press conference will come on the same day that the House is expected to vote on FMAP funding, following a Senate vote on the bill last week.

At the press conference, Senators Edwin Erickson (R-Delaware), Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), and Leanna Washington (D-Philadelphia and Montgomery) and Represntative Tom Murt (R-Montgomery) will join together to discuss how the need for FMAP funding rises above partisan lines. In Pennsylvania, FMAP funding is expected to preserve a wide range of services and to prevent the loss of possibly 20,000 jobs in the public and private sector.

While FMAP funding will help fill the $850 million gap in the state budget, it is not expected to completely meet the needs of the state.  At least some programs will still face budget cuts even if FMAP passes. And, as mentioned in earlier posts, funding of FMAP will come at the expense of the SNAP (food stamp) program.  

If you live in Southeastern PA, please join advocates and legislators at the press conference, on front steps of the Delaware County Courthouse, 201 West Front Street, Media, PA 19063, at 11:00 am on Tuesday, August 10, 2010.  Regardless of where you live, please take a moment to contact your federal representative to ask for his or her support of FMAP (you can learn more about the impact of FMAP in your district from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, and you can find ways to contact your legislators at Better Choices for Pennsylvania) and to discuss your feelings on funding FMAP through SNAP

Finally, please also take a moment to contact your state legislators to advocate for the programs that are critical to the needs of Pennsylvanians during this recession, such as healthcare, adult education and training, the Industry Partnership program, and more.

image courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Us664a_microphone.jpg

PathWays PA E-Newsletter - 9 August 2010

Coffee Hour with Content:
Come Network and Learn about the Need for Earned Sick Time

Did you know that 46% of workers in Pennsylvania have NO earned sick time? In other words, 2.2 million Pennsylvanians either go to work sick or risk losing their pay when ill-or their jobs!

The Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces is hosting a coffee hour where individuals can network while learning about the issue of earned sick time and current legislation working its way through the General Assembly and City Council. Come enjoy some free coffee and a light breakfast and learn more!

WHEN: Thursday, August 12th 8:00 am -9:00 am
(You must RSVP by August 11!)

WHERE: Ballard Spahr, LLP, 1735 Market Street, 42nd Floor, Peter Mattoon Conference Room, Philadelphia, PA

To register for the event visit: http://coffeehourwithcontent.eventbrite.com (You must RSVP to attend!)

Please join the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces to give workers the ability to earn sick time to care for themselves and their families. To learn more about our efforts visit http://earnedsicktime.blogspot.com.

Federal

FMAP Passes Hurdle in the Senate

Last week the Senate passed a bill that extends FMAP funding. Pennsylvania expects to receive approximately $600 million in funding from the bill, leaving a budget shortfall of $250 million for the upcoming year. Governor Rendell announced that he plans to meet with legislative leaders in the next week to determine how to fill that $250 million gap, which could be done through layoffs of up to 11,000 people, spending cuts, or a combination of the two.

As states piece together their budgets with FMAP funding, a few hurdles still must be crossed. The House must cast their votes in order for the bill to pass. While the House was not expected to return to session until September, Speaker Pelosi indicated that she plans to call the House into session so that they can vote on the bill.

If you believe this bill is important, please take a moment to contact your Representative to ask him or her to support FMAP funding when it comes before the House. You can learn more about the impact of FMAP in your district from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, and you can find ways to contact your legislators at Better Choices for Pennsylvania.

You should also know that while passage of FMAP can help the state avoid a devastating budget crisis, it also comes at a cost to families who rely on the SNAP (food stamps) program. In order to fund the $16.1 billion program, the FMAP bill cuts $11.9 billion in funding for SNAP. Many organizations are expressing concerns about this funding choice and are asking legislators to find ways to fund FMAP without cutting SNAP. To learn more and take action, please visit FRAC's website.

Turn Up The Heat This August for Paycheck Fairness!

It will come as no surprise to many of you that women earn less money than men for equal work, making 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. Here are a few things about that money you may not be aware of:

  • If women earned equal wages to their male peers, they could use that money to buy groceries for a family of four for eight months. (The USDA estimates that a family of four spending "liberally" on groceries will spend $264.10 per week. The wage gap per week is $162.)
  • Women are the "breadwinner" or "co-breadwinner" in two-thirds of families in the United States, which shows the extent to which families are relying on wages earned by women.
  • One year after graduating college, women earn on average only 80 percent of their male counterparts' wages. During the next 10 years, women's wages fall even further behind, dropping to only 69 percent of men's earnings ten years after college.

This August, take a moment to turn up the heat on the need for equal pay by contacting your legislator about the Paycheck Fairness Act. This legislation would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, enhance remedies, prohibit retaliation against workers who share wage information, and provide the government with new tools to monitor and address pay inequities. The House of Representatives passed this legislation in January of 2009 and it is now up to the Senate to take action. To do so, WOW and AAUW have teamed up to provide a calendar of action steps for the rest of the month. Even if you pick just one day to take action, you can make a difference!

State

PA Fair Care

As part of the national health insurance reform, Pennsylvania is opening an insurance program for uninsured individuals who have pre-existing medical conditions.

PA Fair Care offers a broad range of benefits that include preventive care, physician services, diagnostic testing, hospitalization, mental health services and prescription medications. Subsidized premiums are $283.20 a month, plus additional co-pays and coinsurance.

To be eligible for PA Fair Care, applicants must:
  • Be a US citizen or lawful resident
  • Be a Pennsylvania resident
  • Have a pre-existing condition
  • Be uninsured for the previous six months

For info, visit www.pafaircare.com or call, toll-free, 1-888-767-7015. Enrollment is first-come, first-served. If you think you might qualify, apply soon - many applications have already been received!

Information/Events

Returning to Learning: A College Fair for Adults

The City of Philadelphia will sponsor the free Returning to Learning: A College Fair for Adults. The fair is intended for people who are over 19 and have some college credits and want to complete their degree, have an associate's degree and want to complete a 4-year degree, or have no college experience at all but want to start college.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 10: 11:00 to 3:00
WHERE: Municipal Services Building, Broad Street and John F. Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia PA (Main Concourse)

The adult-friendly event will help participants explore options, interview colleges, and learn how they can complete their degree at one of the accredited local colleges.

Free college success services are available at several locations throughout the area. For more information, visit the Graduate Philadelphia or PhillyGoes2College websites.

Achieving Independence Center Mentoring Open House: Monday, August 16, 2010

The AIC strives to help members reach self-sufficiency by offering an array of programs such as education counseling, job readiness training, courses on technology, housing, life skills, healthy relationships, plus a dynamic mentoring program sponsored by PathWays PA. A project of the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS), the AIC provides high valued programs and the necessary services to youth who are aging-out of the foster care system.

The AIC Mentoring Program is giving you the chance to be a change in a young person's life. In honor of National Foster Care Month, we would like to invite you to our Mentoring Open House held on Monday, August 16, 2010 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Please feel free to drop-in for one hour to receive more information on how your company/organization can volunteer; plus be entered to win FREE TICKETS to The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre!

For more information and to RSVP to the Open House please contact the AIC by phone (215-574-9194 ext. 234) or email.

Webinar: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Outreach in Your Community


Presented By: WHY Hunger
Date: Thursday, August 19, 2010
Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm Eastern Time

Learn About:

  • Qualifications to be eligible for the SNAP program
  • How individuals can contact representatives from SNAP
  • Where the SNAP program is accepted
  • How the SNAP program assists individuals and helps communities
  • Successful SNAP outreach campaigns
  • Access to SNAP program in farmers markets/EBT

Target Audience:

  • National and community-based agencies that make referrals to individuals in need
  • Emergency Food Providers (EFPs)
  • Agencies and community-based organizations working on hunger and poverty issues
  • People who work in Farmers Markets
Please register to participate by completing this online form.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Webinar: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Outreach in Your Community

(From our friends at the USDA)

What: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) Outreach in Your Community
Presented By: WHY Hunger
Date: Thursday, August 19, 2010
Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm Eastern Time
Please register!

Learn About:
  • Qualifications to be eligible for the SNAP program
  • How individuals can contact representatives from SNAP
  • Where the SNAP program is accepted
  • How the SNAP program assists individuals and helps communities
  • Successful SNAP outreach campaigns
  • Access to SNAP program in farmers markets/EBT

Target Audience:
  • National and community-based agencies that make referrals to individuals in need
  • Emergency Food Providers (EFPs)
  • Agencies and community-based organizations working on hunger and poverty issues
  • People who work in Farmers Markets

Please register to participate by completing the online registration


You can contact WHY Hunger for questions on webinar content or the USDA regarding webinar logistics.


image courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USDA_logo.svg