United Way of Pennsylvania          LIVE UNITED
UWP Update - April 27 , 2018
Thank you to all our members who made UWP's 2018 Hill Day a success! 
Second annual Hill Day supports United Way goals for 2018-2019 state budget

Fifteen different local United Ways, plus a UWP board member, joined us at the Capitol for United Way Hill Day on Tuesday, April 17. The group met with 37 legislators in support of funding for statewide 2-1-1 and increasing access to high quality early childhood education.

Several themes emerged from our meetings. First, awareness of 2-1-1 has definitely increased since Hill Day last year, and legislators are also enthusiastic about the potential for 2-1-1 to partner with state government in order to improve human services information and referral in PA. Second, nearly all of the legislators we met with understand the importance of high quality pre-k and support some level of increased public investment in this year's budget. But, our delegation was often reminded about the state's fiscal realities, and cautioned that both April and May are important revenue collection months for the PIT and corporate taxes, respectively. And nearly unanimously, legislators felt that this would be a budget crafted so as to avoid tax increases in an election year, but also to assure on-time enactment of both a spending and revenue plan.

Hill Day participants also did a great job of using their social media to help supporters and followers at home understand the leadership role they took to come to the state capital and advocate on behalf of their communities. Fourteen of our participating United Ways used social media to talk about their Hill Day visits. UWP reached over 1,000 people on Facebook, and Tweets which mentioned @unitedwaypa on Hill Day garnered 108 likes and 35 retweets. We also earned 5 new Twitter followers on Hill Day.

Any United Way staff, volunteers or donors can add their voice to our collective advocacy efforts by writing to or calling legislators to ask for support for United Way's priority budget issues. One great way to do that is using this link which can also be found on our website under Advocacy - Take Action!

2018 UWP Statewide Conference: Early Registration Ends April 30th!

Are you looking to meet other United Way staff in PA? Need some inspiration to implement your next big goal? Look no further than UWP's 2018 Conference! This year we'll be in beautiful Erie, PA. 

Our conference is extremely affordable for our members and we take pride in that. If you want to pay the early bird rate - you only have until April 30th. On May 1st the rate will go up to $350 dollars. 

Our conference can be reimbursed through flex credits for the conference fee, travel, and the hotel room. You can also choose to register now and pay by check before the conference. 

There's no reason to delay! Will we be seeing you in Erie? If so - register now!
Encourage Pre-K supporters to sign up for a chance to win tickets to the Pocono 400

The Pre-K for PA campaign is partnering with the Pocono Raceway to offer Pre-K supporters an opportunity to win tickets to the Pocono 400 event on Sunday, June 3. The link to enter the giveaway is here. The campaign is giving away two sets of four tickets in the 200 level which were donated by the Pocono Raceway. 

We are also turning the corner and are in the final few laps of the PA race for governor. As the candidates speed towards the midpoint of the race, most have taken the time to assert their positions on access to high-quality pre-k and child care as part of a candidate survey conducted by Pre-K for PA partner organization United Way of Pennsylvania (UWP).

The full survey results are available on the UWP public website on the 2018 Gubernatorial Candidates on the Issues link. The full set of responses has been posted for each candidate. The responses are available in two formats: sorted by issue area, or sorted by candidate.

House committee markup complete on Farm Bill proposing significant revisions to SNAP eligibility and work requirements

Last week, the House Agriculture Committee passed a version of the Farm Bill that would negatively impact SNAP benefits. This Farm Bill would make it harder for more than 2 million people to put food on the table by taking away -- or cutting -- SNAP benefits by more than $17 billion. It also calls for a dramatic revision to SNAP eligibility and work requirements.  

SNAP supplements the income of low-wage earners helping working families make ends meet and is carefully structured to encourage work. SNAP Employment & Training dollars help workers prepare for and secure jobs. Children with regular access to nutritious food have improved academic performance and have decreased risk of behavior problems, obesity, illness and infection. Further, pregnant mothers have improved birth outcomes and the elderly are less likely to forego prescription medications. SNAP also helps reduce poverty and promotes economic activity.
SNAP is temporary and efficient. More than 80% of SNAP participants are working in the year before or after getting SNAP, suggesting that SNAP is temporarily helping workers stay afloat when they hit hard times. Even though the food assistance SNAP provides is modest- averaging only about $1.40 per person per meal- it's a lifesaver for many Americans.
We, alongside United Way Worldwide, are invested in protecting SNAP in the Farm Bill. For Pennsylvania, this means something bigger than just food insecurity.  From food retailers who are concerned about the economic impacts of cutting SNAP, to farmers, especially in the dairy industry, who depend upon the Farm Bill for risk management and other commodity supports, urban and rural communities are inextricably linked through the food system, and each piece of the Farm Bill addresses these connections in one form or another. 

The next step in the process is for all House members to vote on the proposal on the House floor. This will come sometime within May, possibly as early as the week of May 7th. In the meantime, we are devoted to taking action to support SNAP in the Farm Bill. We will be coordinating bi-partisan messaging to use with our congressional delegation, including members like Representative GT Thompson who were instrumental in developing the House committee proposal.

You can get involved by reaching out to your congressional representatives and stressing the importance of SNAP for your communities, the commonwealth, and ultimately the country. Be on the look-out for messaging and materials from us as well. And if you have not already, please take the time to sign on to our advocacy letter supporting SNAP in the Farm Bill by going to the Take Action! section of our website or use this link.

New regional supports for early childcare services

This week, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services' (DHS) Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) announced the selection of regional Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs), created to improve the quality of and access to early learning services in the state and help families identify the best child care options that meet the needs of children while offering connections to additional services, such as a child care subsidy.


ELRCs will consolidate the current work of Child Care Information Service Agencies and the Regional keys to create a single point-of-contact for families, early learning service providers, and early learning programs. This consolidated and enhanced service will allow child care professionals to obtain support in building quality outcomes for children by working with quality coaches to achieve Keystone STAR 3 and 4 status, while also building connections with community partners, and supporting children and families in accessing additional services, such as PA Pre-K Counts, Head Start, home-visiting, and Early Intervention.


All ELRCs will have a primary location in their designated region and most will have satellite offices. ELRCs will also partner with community organizations to meet families' needs where they are. There are 19 ELRC regions encompassing 65 of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania. Allegheny County and Philadelphia County are still pending because their procurement process is currently on hold.


For more information about ELRCs, your region, and the lists of lead agencies, please visit the DHS press release on the new regional supports for early childhood services: http://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=298

Connect with us on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for marketing your organization and expanding your industry knowledge.  It allows you to network with business contacts and reach your potential clients in a professional platform. 
United Way of Pennsylvania is using LinkedIn as a way to promote the causes that matter to our organization, and community information related to these causes.  It's a way for us to connect with our community, and keep them up to date with what the United Way does and where they can get assistance.  We also use this platform as a way to broaden our knowledge and keep up to date with the non-profit industry. 
If you have a LinkedIn profile, please search for our page, United Way of Pennsylvania, and click follow.  Unfortunately LinkedIn doesn't allow company pages to follow other company pages, but you can follow us with your individual page.  Users are looking to build a strong professional network and companies are using the platform to do the same thing.   Click here to start engaging with our posts and share them with your own network! 

United Way of PA: Opioid Crisis Survey 

UWP has heard concerns from United Ways and legislators about how the opioid epidemic is affecting the work of United Ways. UWP is interested in learning if any United Ways have taken steps in existing programs to fight opioid abuse. We're also interested in learning whether United Ways are funding new programs or starting their own programs to address this serious problem.

UWP could offer training about opioid abuse, resources available, and/or what other United Ways are doing if there is interest. We are asking our members to please complete this survey to let us know what your United Way is doing and if you're interested in any training opportunities.

If you have questions, please reach out to Amanda Barbarich at amanda@uwp.org or (717) 238-7365 x206
It's all about the revenue numbers for budgeteers in Harrisburg

As state legislators await April and May revenue collections to signal what will be possible for the 2018-2019 budget, let's review what has happened for the year to date.

March collections produced the first size-able shortfall for the year, missing the mark by $274.2 million, or 6 percent, versus what was anticipated. The biggest portion of the shortfall came from lackluster corporation tax revenue and corporate net income tax. PIT revenue collections also did not meet expectations in March, but the PIT is still ahead overall for the fiscal year-to-date. Sales tax revenues are very slightly below expectation for the year to date.

As the April and May revenue reports come out, the former will be an important month for PIT collections and the latter will be significant for corporate taxes. Legislative staff are expressing concerns primarily pertaining to the corporate tax collections, which the rumor mill indicates continue to lag significantly in the month of April.

The IFO will update revenue estimates for the current and future budget year on May 1. There is an element of uncertainty due to federal tax reform, which the Independent Fiscal Office has predicted will give PA an overall boost that has not materialized to date. For example, the IFO is predicting that more disposable income from tax cuts will result in increased sales tax collections, which has not occurred yet. Reducing the federal corporate net income tax rate was predicted to have a small overall negative impact, but so far shortfalls in the state CNI are among the most significant budgetary impacts.

In an election year budget, the biggest determining factor of spending levels for priority issues like Pre-k and 2-1-1 will be the amount of revenues the current budget takes in and estimates for the upcoming fiscal year.  

Volunteer Time worth $24.35 an hour in PA

If you ask a United Way to put a price on their volunteers, it's hard to do so. In fact, some United Ways could argue their volunteers are worth their weight in gold. However, the Independent Sector has managed to numerically state how valuable volunteers are. Volunteer time is worth $24.69 per hour on average across the United States. In PA specifically, the number is $24.35 per hour. 

In 2016, volunteer time was worth $24.14 per hour nationally and $23.89 per hour in PA. The trend is that volunteer time is worth more each year across the United States. There are 63 million volunteers across the United States.

United Ways know our volunteers are invaluable. The work they do to build our communities, help our neighbors, and improve the future is vital to the United Way mission.


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