DON’T PLAY CHICKEN WITH OUR CHILDREN’S LIVES!
Pennsylvania General Assembly Gambles With The Future
As the General Assembly wrapped up its second week without a budget House Democrats, some frustrated with Republican opposition to a modest tax increase (for details see June 25 below) and others firmly opposed to an increase themselves, proposed on Thursday to vote SB 850 (a disasterous budget for Pennsylvania children and families -- for a list of cuts see July 1 post below) – out of committee early next week. This would allow the full House to vote on it.
While we haven’t had time to analyze the full impact of this latest alternative here’s one tidbit: it would add 14,000 children to the statewide waiting list for subsidized child care. The waiting list already stands at 16,000 – a record high and twice what is was last summer. (For PCCY's recent report on the subsidy waiting list click here.)
On Monday the Governor is holding a press conference to discuss the impact on children and families. Advocates will be a presence in the Capitol every day next week (see below). Senator Vincent Hughes is holding what is expected to be a well-attended briefing on Monday afternoon in Philadelphia City Hall to discuss the impact of the budget on mental health services.
Whether you've been advocating for a children’s budget since last winter or you’re just hearing what’s at stake for the first time, NOW IS THE TIME TO TAKE A STAND!
If you have three minutes, call your state Senator and Representative. Tell them to:
*Pass a budget that maintains services for children and families;
*Enact a temporary tax increase to pay for these services; and
*Vote against SB 850!
(If you don’t know who your legislators are or need contact info click here and enter your zip code in the upper right. Calls are better than e-mails at this point, but e-mail if you must.)
If you have ten minutes, send this message to friends, colleagues and neighbors and urge them to the same thing.
Download post cards and flyers.
Take them to meetings with you to distribute.
Post the flyers in public places.
If you have an hour and a half on Wednesday night and want to join a phone bank, email@example.com and we’ll send you the time and location.
Check this blog, http://www.pccy.org/, PCCY’s facebook page and http://www.pennbpc.org/ for frequent updates.
Thanks for all the great work you're doing on behalf of the region’s kids!
Excerpts from a Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (http://www.pennbpc.org/) e-mail of July 10:
Things are very bad and getting worse.
…on Monday July 13, the House will begin a process to move Senate Bill 850 onto the the floor for a vote, probably sometime the following week. Since SB 850, which cut $1.3 billion from the Governor's budget, is now somewhere between $1.4 and $1.7 billion out of balance, the Governor and House leaders may announce further cuts.
It is entirely possible that SB 850 could pass the legislature and the Governor could use his authority to make the final cuts necessary to balance the budget.
PBPC has been working with the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign and many other groups to plan and organize events at the state capitol next week to bring home the message that the state budget should not be balanced with cuts and to promote the need for additional revenue.
We need you to show your support. Please join us if you can any day Monday through Friday of next week. Our goal is to keep pushing out a strong public message and to ensure that groups opposing budget cuts are more visible in the capitol.
We are looking for a big event on Friday and to schedule events for the week of July 20th. Please let me know if you can help.
Mon. July 13: 11:30 am Rotunda: Better Choices for PA: Faith Groups and Early Childhood
Tues. July 14: Noon Capitol Steps: Public Employee Unions 1 pm: Lower Rotunda: Better Choices for PA: Disabilities Rights Coalition
Wed. July 15: 11 am: Rotunda: Better Choices for PA: Workforce Development, Housing, Philadelphia Coalition for Essential Services
Thurs.July 16: 10 am: Penn Future and Environmental Groups 11 am: School Funding Campaign
Friday, July 17: 11 am: To Be Determined We have resources on our website,