June 1, 2012

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives plans to vote next week on the state budget. We need your help to email and call your elected officials to tell them we simply cannot afford to cut General Assistance, a proven, cost-effective program of last resort that is a bridge to self-sufficiency for victims of domestic violence, people with serious health conditions, and other vulnerable Pennsylvanians.

The next few days are crucial to saving General Assistance. Please act now by calling and emailing your legislator. Tell him or her to restore funding for General Assistance. Without General Assistance, many more Pennsylvanians will become homeless, and many local communities will face additional costs of shelter, policing, and emergency services.

The time is NOW and the message is simple: DO NOT ELIMINATE GENERAL ASSISTANCE.


May 25, 2012

Delaware County Press ConferenceDelaware County residents sent a message to Harrisburg on Thursday: Cuts hurt people's lives and lawmakers should make better choices.

The Delaware County Daily Times had a report on the Delaware County press conference that featured local citizens and advocates explaining what is at stake in this budget. The event was coordinated by PathWays PA, Family and Community Service of Delaware County, and the Southeastern PA Budget Coalition.

Here's a highlight from the Daily Times story:

Marlena Williams, a young mother from Philadelphia, said she found shelter for her two young children last year at a PathWays PA residential program in Delaware County. Williams said that while she has made some progress in the past year, Corbett’s budget cuts will make it difficult for her to obtain her GED. 

In addition to cuts to education, people are also concerned about cuts to the General Assistance cash program.

“General Assistance saved my life,” said Upper Darby resident Julie Schnepp, a U.S. Army veteran and former recipient of the program.

People who receive General Assistance include disabled or sick adults without children, domestic...

PA Capitol Dome

Senate Budget Overview: Plan improves upon the Governor's budget, but deep cuts to education and health remain. Read more.

May 9, 2012

Co-chairs Stephen Drachler and Peg Dierkers issued the following statement on behalf of the Better Choices for Pennsylvania Coalition on the state Senate's passage of a 2012-13 budget bill today:

"We applaud the Senate for advancing a budget that reflects Pennsylvanians' deep concerns about the cost of Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed cuts, but this budget does not go far enough to restore the investments that citizens value.

It leaves in place half the cuts to county services for children, seniors and people who are receiving treatment. It eliminates General Assistance for 68,000 Pennsylvanians working to achieve independence. It leaves intact most of the cuts to public schools that have already led to the loss of 14,000 teachers and support personnel from the classrooms

The Senate budget leaves money on the table that is necessary for a sustainable funding plan. It keeps the sales tax vendor discount, a loophole even Governor Corbett wants to close, at a cost of $41...