Monday, April 30, 2012

PathWays PA E-Newsletter - April 30, 2012

State Policy Updates

$1 BILLION BUSINESS TAX CUT EXPECTED TO CUT SERVICES THAT HELP KIDS, FAMILIES: REACH LAWMAKERS ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK

The first priority before the Pennsylvania House when lawmakers return to session next week is to vote on a bill that will cut corporate taxes by close to a billion dollars by the end of the decade, with no commitment from companies to put people back to work. Cutting these taxes will also encourage deep cuts to domestic violence services, education, adult literacy and food pantries due to lost revenue. Billed as a measure to close corporate tax loopholes, House Bill 2150 is paired with such big tax breaks for businesses that it will be a huge net revenue drain on the state for years to come.

If you have feelings about this bill, you can send a Message to Lawmakers on Facebook and Twitter.

Sample messages include:

@Lawmaker Vote no on HB2150. Corporate tax cuts will hurt children and families. PA can’t afford a decade of deep #Pabudget cuts.

Please vote no on HB 2150. This bill, which the House is scheduled to vote on the week of April 30, will cut corporate taxes by nearly a billion dollars by the end of the decade with no commitment from companies to put people back to work. That means more cuts to schools, colleges, services for children and help for struggling families. Pennsylvania should close corporate tax loopholes responsibly, not at the cost of a decade of budget deficits.


Domestic violence free-zonePENNSYLVANIA DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FUNDING THREATENED

According to our friends at Women in Transition, two funding sources for domestic violence programs are being threatened at the state level.

  1. Funding for Domestic Violence Medical Advocacy programs, may be eliminated by the Department of Health. This funding ensures that domestic violence advocates are available at hospitals and clinics to work with violence survivors as they come in. Medical settings are often one of the few places where domestic violence survivors can safely call hotlines, undergo counseling or make a safety plan.
  2. A proposal has also been made to cut 9% of funding from the Victims of Crime Act. While this seems like a small amount of funding, every penny is important at a time when women and families are already being turned away from shelters.

Through these cuts, 93,000 women will lose access to counseling, shelter, legal aid, public assistance, and many other services.

If you support these services, please reach out to Governor Corbett and to your local legislators right away. You can call Governor Corbett's office at 717-787-2500 or click here to find your local legislators.

Below is a sample script provided by WIT:
"My name is ___ and I'm calling as supporter of Women In Transition, the only counseling agency for women dealing with domestic violence and substance abuse in Philadelphia. I'm calling because I'm outraged at the proposed cuts to domestic violence services through the recent budgetary actions."

"Statewide access to safety and support for DV victims is at serious risk due to more than a decade of no funding increases. In fact, DV services are funded with less dollars than they were in 2001. If this continues, there will be nowhere left for domestic violence victims to go."
"I urge the [Governor/Legislature] to increase the DV appropriation by $5 million dollars as recently suggested by the Senate."
"This will address these most recently announced funding cuts, keep statewide access in place and begin to address the more than 5000 victims whose needs were not able to met last year and had to be turned away."


STOP PAYDAY LOANS

Payday loans are an abusive form of lending. While marketed as a quick financial fix, the loans are structured so that they trap borrowers in long-term debt. Triple digit interest payday loans are illegal in Pennsylvania whether made in a store or online. So now, out-of-state lenders like Cash America are working to pass HB 2191 which would legalize this really dangerous financial product. If passed, we'll have payday loan stores all over Philadelphia, trapping residents in debt and hampering efforts for effective economic development.

The bill is on a fast-track and is scheduled a hearing on it for May 3rd but a coalition of consumer advocates, faith-based organizations and labor groups are working to stop it.

Below are some ways you and your organization can help:
  1. Sign onto a letter opposing the bill. Join the sign-on letter by contacting Kerry Smith at CLS at http://www.stoppaydayloanspa.com/get-involved.html 
  2. Contact your legislators and urge them to oppose the bill.
For more information about this bill visit: www.stoppaydayloanspa.com.


Information and Events


SHARE DATA ON YOUTH HOMELESSNESS

The lack of comprehensive national data on youth homelessness is one of the biggest challenges in solving youth homelessness and bringing proven solutions to scale. The National Alliance to End Homelessness is working to address this dearth of information by putting an emphasis on targeted Homeless Youth Counts. They have an exciting new tool - their youth count map!

The map shows communities that have conducted targeted youth Point-in-Time (PIT) Counts, or included youth in their annual/bi-annual community-wide PIT Counts but they need your help making it a more complete picture! If you’ve conducted a targeted youth count in your community – we’d love to know more and have the chance to feature your community! Please email AndrĂ© Wade, Program and Policy Analyst at the Alliance, to share your count data.

On the Youth Count page, you’ll also find resources such as webinars and a toolkit about conducting targeted youth counts, as well as practice profiles of communities that have conducted targeted youth counts.


HUMAN TRAFFICKING FILM SCREENINGS

During the month of May, WOMEN'S WAY will be hosting two screenings of the documentary Very Young Girls followed by moderated panel discussions.

This documentary exposes the issue of human trafficking in the United States by highlighting the plight of teenage girls forced into sex trafficking in New York City and the incredible hardships they must face.
*Please note: This film includes graphic content*

Film Screening Details:

Bryn Mawr College
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
6:30 to 9:00pm

The University of the Arts
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
6:00 to 8:30pm

REGISTER TODAY!

These are FREE events. Light refreshments will be served. Space is limited so registration is required.



SUPPORT THE FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT FOR MILITARY FAMILIES

The Department of Labor had extended the deadline to comment on the regulations implementing the 2009 law that expanded FMLA rights for military family caregivers, and now is the time to take action.

The National Partnership for Women and Families and the National Military Families Association have drafted comments and we are asking both national and state organizations to sign-on.

Expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act’s (FMLA’s) military family leave provisions will allow families to provide care to service members without the stress and worry that they will lose a job when they do. In the letter, we focus in particular on the regulatory provisions impacting military personnel and we encourage organizations to carefully consider the comments submitted on behalf of airline employee groups with regards to the regulations implementing the Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act.

To read and sign on to the letter, click here.
Deadline for signing: Monday, April 30, 3:00 pm ET (That’s today!)
Questions: Abby Cook Mack (acookmack@nationalpartnership.org)

We also encourage groups to send individual letters in support of improving the FMLA military family regulations. Feel free to crib from the coalition letter. Comments from our community will be critical to the continued efficacy of the FMLA.


Crystal Clear app dateCOME OUT TO SUPPORT WORKERS THIS MAY DAY

In these times of for working class families, let's all join together on "May Day", a day which is celebrated globally to honor all workers.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 1st at 3pm
WHERE: The Old G.E. plant, at 69th and Elmwood Streets in Southwest Philadelphia

At 3:30 pm, everyone will march to the Elmwood Park Labor Monument at 71st and Buist Streets.

Feel free to bring your Union or organization's banners, flags, hats, T shirts, etc. Picnic baskets, refreshments, beach chairs and blankets are welcome as well.

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