Maternity Care Coalition

Budget, Wages, and Children Need Your Protection

May, 2010 - Vol 3, Issue 9
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Learn about the childbirth crisis and advocate for maternity services.
In This Issue
May 25th: Critical State Budget Vote
June 2: The 2010 Release of the Self-Sufficiency Standard
Help Create a PA Children's Ombudsperson

Maternity Care Coalition (MCC) seeks to improve maternal and child health and wellbeing through the collaborative efforts of individuals, families, providers and communities.
Critical State Budget Vote on May 25th!
We need your help!  Tell Harrisburg: No More Cuts! End Special Interest Tax Breaks to Preserve Jobs and Services
The recession has left Pennsylvanians without jobs or health care and increased demand on libraries, human service agencies, food pantries and emergency rooms. 
The Pennsylvania General Assembly has responded to this increased demand with CUTS
to job training, hospitals, behavioral health services and poor seniors and people with disabilities.
With the economy struggling and a growing shortfall, the General Assembly wants to make still more cuts.  They want to look the other way while tax loopholes and tax breaks to favored companies  leave the rest of us businesses and taxpayers paying more and getting less.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives will vote the week of May 24rd on HB 2435, which would raise needed revenue to preserve funding for health care, education and human services by taxing smokeless tobacco and gas extraction.  Pennsylvania's is the last state in the nation to refrain from taxing these items.
HB 2435 will close corporate tax loopholes and end a special tax break, "the vendor discount," that gives $9 a year to small businesses but $1 million to 10 lucky billion dollar companies.
Call 9 AM-5 PM on Monday, May 24th or Tuesday, May 25th.  Tell your state representatives: 
"I am a constituent and I want you to support
HB 2435.  Solving the budget crisis with cuts alone leaves thousands more vulnerable:
  • Cuts will cost jobs in education, health care and the non-profit sector and increase local property taxes
  • Pennsylvania can no longer afford the Delaware loophole and special tax treatment for gas and tobacco companies"
Better Choices for Pennsylvania for more information
Find your lawmakers at PA PowerPort
June 2: The Self-Sufficiency Standard for PA 2010-2011 Release
What are the self-sufficiency needs of a family to survive without food stamps or government assistance in this region?
(for two adults, 1 preschooler, 1 school-age child)
Bucks: $71,846 per year
Chester: $71,296
Delaware: $62,543
Montgomery: $71,393
Philadelphia: $60,000
On June 2nd, Carol Goertzel, President & CEO of PathWays PA and Dr. Diana Pearce, author of the study, will share more about the Self-Sufficiency Standard and ways you can use the Standard in your work.
Join PathWays PA as they release this report:
United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania
7 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA
Tuesday, June 2nd 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Register now to attend this event! 

Urge State Legislators to Create a PA Children's Ombudsperson
Support the creation of a Children's Ombudsperson in PA by signing the petition or writing a letter to your state Senator and Representative (sample letter below).
Ring the Bell Sign the Petition image
Dear Senator  (fill in w/your state senator's name)
or Dear Representative (fill in w/your representative's name)
I'm writing to strongly urge you to create a Children's Ombudsperson in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania's child welfare system impacts the safety, custody, permanency and well-being of thousands of children and families. 
In 2009, more than 25,000 reports of suspected child abuse were investigated and over one hundred thousand PA children received in-home services.  More than 31,000 PA children and youth were in foster care.  The cost to investigate child abuse and provide comprehensive child welfare services in PA exceeded $1.5 billion in 2009.
Additionally since 2002, at least 344 Pennsylvania children have died as a result of child abuse - approximately half of these children were known, in some way, to the child welfare system. 
Pennsylvania children, youth and families benefit from child welfare services delivered by public and private providers as part of a state supervised and county administered system that has strengths, but too often also does not function as it should or must to:
  • Effectively assess and assure the safety of a child;
  • Guard the rights of parents, children and alleged perpetrators;
  • Respond to the calls of mandated child abuse reporters who suspect abuse;
  • Prevent the removal of a child from his/her home or other disruptions when placement is required;  or
  • Communicate with other public and private partners in the protection of children and youth.
Consequential decisions - human and fiscal - are made every day within the child welfare system.  These decisions occur without any mechanism for independent and impartial oversight. 
Creating a Children's Ombudsperson will provide Pennsylvania children, families and policymakers with an effective mechanism to:
  • Independently evaluate and respond to complaints about the action/inaction of the child welfare system; and
  • Infuse accountability and  transparency while also offering systemic recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the services delivered.
Everyone benefits - children, families and taxpayers - with the creation of an independent, impartial statewide Children's Ombudsperson.  As part of the public outcry for and heightened commitment to government accountability, I strongly urge you to create a Children's Ombudsperson.  
NAME:                        _____________________________________________________________
ADDRESS:  ________________________________________________________________
CITY/TOWN:  _______________________ZIP CODE:  __________________ EMAIL:  
Sign the petition!
Ring the Bell image
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