Monday, March 19, 2012

PathWay PA E-Newsletter: March 19, 2012

Federal Updates

SUPPORT WORKING FAMILIES: ASK YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO SUPPORT THE STATE PAID LEAVE FUND IN THE LABOR HHS APPROPRIATIONS BILL

Help urge the Appropriations Committee to include the State Paid Leave Fund in the Fiscal Year 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services & Education bill. The Fund is included in the President’s budget at $5 million and would provide competitive grants to states considering paid leave programs. The goal of these initiatives is to help families maintain their financial security when illness strikes or family caregiving needs arise.

Federal support is critical to fuel innovation in leave policy. Through the State Paid Leave Fund, states could develop and plan for the implementation of paid family and medical leave programs. Grant funds would be used for activities such as program design, research and analysis, stakeholder consultation, actuarial analyses, and development of a financing models and benefit structures.

Nearly all workers will need to take time away from work at some point in their lives to deal with a serious personal or family illness or to care for a new child. Yet, a meager 11 percent of workers in the United States have access to paid family leave through their employers, and fewer than 40 percent have access to personal medical leave through employer-provided temporary disability insurance. Working families need paid, job-protected time off to ensure that they can address their health problems and meet their caregiving needs.

Contact your member of Congress today and urge them to support working families by supporting funding for the State Paid Leave Fund.

State Updates

VOTER ID BILL IS NOW LAW IN PA

Last week the Governor signed the Voter ID bill, which requires that individuals show a government issued form of identification when they go to vote. This law will be in full effect for the November election.

To ensure that voters are aware of and prepares for this change below is a list of approved forms of identification.  You will need to have one of the following forms of identification.
  • A current Pennsylvania driver's license, or one that expired after November 2011;
  • A current Pennsylvania photo ID card issued by Penn DOT, or one that expired after November 2011;
  • A current U.S. passport;
  • A U.S. military or Pennsylvania National Guard photo ID (note: it must include “a designation that the expiration date is indefinite”);
  • A U.S. government-issued photo ID, e.g., agency employee, armed services, etc.
  • A current employee photo ID issued by a Pennsylvania county, city, town, township or borough;
  • A current student photo ID issued by a Pennsylvania college or university (note that only ID’s containing an expiration date can be used. For instance, University of Pittsburgh’s IDs are accepted, but Penn State, LaSalle and Drexel’s are not.); or
  • A current photo ID issued by a licensed nursing, personal care or assisted living facility (note that only ID’s containing an expiration date can be used);
For any of these ID’s, the person has to look like the person in the picture, and the name on the ID has to “substantially conform” to the name on the voter registration record. Both of these may be problems for some people.

If the person does not have one of these ID’s, they will have to obtain an ID from Penn DOT. In order to do so, they must produce an original Social Security card and one of the following types of identification listed on this website, http://www.aclupa.org/downloads/FAQVoterID31612.pdf.

If you know of someone who currently does not have one of the accepted forms of ID listed above and will likely have difficulty obtaining an ID, or if you have any questions about the voter ID law or the legal challenge to it, please feel free to contact the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania at 717-238-2258 or voterID@aclupa.org. You can also check out their webpage at www.aclupa.org/voterid.

SIGN A LETTER TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR FUNDS FOR HEMAP

Foreclosures continue to rise in Pennsylvania with the latest data showing foreclosure notices up by 35% over a year ago. Southeastern Pennsylvania had a 47% increase in foreclosure filings over last year.

The Attorney General (AG) settlement with the large mortgage companies removes barriers from foreclosure actions and will lead to continuing increases in foreclosures in PA. PA is getting $66 million from the AG settlement to be used to prevent foreclosures. These funds are controlled by the Attorney General. The PA Save Our Homes Coalition is asking organizations to sign on to a letter to PA’s Attorney asking to use a substantial portion of the funds coming to PA to fund the HEMAP program.

If your organization would like to sign on to this letter please email JDoddsPUP@aol.com.

Also be sure to follow the latest actions on HEMAP and foreclosure prevention on- www.Pasaveourhomes.org.

SAVE PENNSYLVANIA'S BRIDGE TO SAFETY AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY: TALK TO YOUR LEGISLATORS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF GENERAL ASSISTANCE

In 2007, Hadley was recovering from a brain injury without access to rehabilitation or supportive family members. Until learning about and qualifying for General Assistance (GA), Hadley says, "It was me and my four cats living in my car... It was only that I received help from GA that I was able to temporarily go into a homeless shelter in Carlisle, get food help and my four cats were able to be fostered together."

Hadley is one of many using General Assistance as a bridge to self-sufficiency. In Pennsylvania, 67,000 individuals from across the state who are suffering from disabilities, fleeing from abusers, or recovering from drug and alcohol abuse rely on GA as a program of "last resort." Yet in the proposed budget for next year, GA is nowhere to be found.

If you support the GA program, please take a moment to share your reasons with the Governor, state legislators, and the Department of Public Welfare.

Information/Events

VIRTUAL TOWN HALL WITH SECRETARY OF LABOR HILDA L. SOLIS

This call will be to discuss the Department of Labor's Commitment to Women and Women's Programs. Join women leaders from across the country as Secretary Solis and key Department staff will share DOL's accomplishments for working women.

WHEN: Monday, March 19th, 3:00
Conference Call Number: 888-989-4619
Passcode (please give to the operator): Women

Registration is required to ensure we have enough lines for those who wish to participate. Please RSVP at http://webapps.dol.gov/DOLEvents/Event/View/61/Womens-Virtual-Town-Hall-with-Secretary-Solis.

Please contact A'shanti Gholar, Special Assistant to the Secretary in the Office of Public Engagement, at Gholar.Ashanti.F@dol.gov with any questions or concerns.

This call is off the record and not for press purposes.


REGISTER NOW FOR THE NEXT SUMMER MEALS MATTER CONFERENCE CALL: NUTRITION QUALITY

The Food Research and Action Center is the leading national organization working for more effective public and private policies to eradicate domestic hunger and undernutrition.

Join FRAC as they discuss summer meals. Food often draws children into summer programs and high-quality food can ensure that children continue to attend a program. Learn how to improve meal quality at your summer program. Hear how summer meal program coordinators communicate with vendors, use input from children, and take steps to offer healthy high-quality meals.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 10, at 1:00 pm

Click here to register.

BUDGET COALITION CAMPAIGN KICK OFF AND PIE DELIVERY

The state budget proposed by Governor Tom Corbett in February includes proposed cuts to behavioral health, housing and the elimination of the General Assistance program. If enacted, the budget will move people from prevention and treatment to more costly services – in institutions, foster care, and in jails. There is a better way.

WHEN: Monday, March 26, 2012
WHERE: Main Capitol, Harrisburg PA

Starting at noon partners of the Better Choices for Pennsylvania Coalition partners will deliver pies to lawmakers to urge them to grow the pie rather than make deep cuts to services. Then at 1 pm there will be a kick off event in the Rotunda.

Please RSVP if you can attend the March 26 Kick Off Event to: info@pennbpc.org.

PHAN’S HOUSE CALLS FOR HEALTH CARE

To mark the 2nd Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act the Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHNA) has organized house parties throughout the state. Hundreds of Pennsylvanians will be attending these house parties over the next two weeks.

Join them! Defend the Affordable Care Act, learn about what's happening in the Supreme Court and get the latest updates from Harrisburg and DC.

You can find a list of the Philadelphia House Calls here. If you would like to look at the full list or need more information please visit http://pahealthaccess.org/HouseCalls.

HEALTHY PHILADELPHIA COMMUNITY FORUM

Healthy Philadelphia has released a report that shows that thousands of people in Northeast Philadelphia are not able to get the health care they need. The shortage of health care resources is a crisis for the people who live there. Come to this community meeting to learn more, share your health care stories, and work together to find a solution.

WHEN: March 20th at 6:30
WHERE: St. Martin of Tours RC Church, School Gym, 5450 Roosevelt Blvd.

Free parking is available behind the church and a light dinner will be served.

To learn more and to RSVP, please contact Carol Rogers or Alexander Rodriguez at 215-568-0399 x 216 or email admin@healthyphiladelphia.org.

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