United Way of Pennsylvania
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UWP Update - April 28, 2017
Shawnee Inn & Resort 
UWP's Priority HB 211 scheduled for committee vote May 8
 
We got some exciting news about our statewide 2-1-1 initiative! On May 8, the House Human Services committee will be voting on HB 211, which creates a mechanism for the state to fund 2-1-1 through a grant program.  This is a huge step for us and we are very excited to see this bill move in the House.   With that being said, it is extremely import to have committee support for the bill, so it hopefully passes unanimously.  

In order to ensure this bill moves favorably from committee, we are asking for assistance from our United Way members. Below is a list of committee members.  If any of these legislators are in your area, please call their offices and encourage them to support HB 211 in their committee meeting.  UWP has circulated a memo to committee members encouraging their support, as well.  

Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, Rep. Alexander Charlton, Rep. Bud Cook, Rep. Michael Corr, Rep. Angel Cruz, Rep. Jason Dawkins, Rep. Michael Driscoll, Rep. Cris Dush, Rep. Jonathan Fritz,  Rep. Rich Irvin, Rep. Aaron Kaufer, Rep. Stephen Kinsey, Rep. Maureen Madden, Rep. Joanna McClinton,  Rep. Nick Miccarelli, Rep. Daniel Miller, Rep. Thomas Murt, Rep. Eric Nelson, Rep. Thomas Quigley, Rep. Eric Roe, Rep. Mark Rozzi, Rep. Mike Schlossberg, Rep. Justin Simmons, Rep. Brian Sims, Rep. Tarah Toohil, Rep. Judy Ward, Rep, Perry Warren

Should, and hopefully when, this bill moves from committee, we will be looking for support from our full membership to encourage their local legislators to support HB 211 when it comes up on the House floor.  More information will be circulated at that time.  

Importance of a well-funded child care system for school readiness

Information from the Early Learning Investment Commission

Did you know that nearly half of the children enrolled in publicly-funded pre-k are served in child care programs? Of the more than 2,000 high-quality pre-k providers in Pennsylvania, over 1,000 of them are STAR 3-4 child care programs. 

There is no replacement for high-quality early care and education. Both high-quality child care and pre-k programs help children develop physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively. 

One step forward, one step back might be the best way to describe recent action in the state capitol on early learning funding. The budget bill that moved out of the House (a procedural move just to move the process along) included a $25 million increase for pre-k and a $28 million cut to child care.  

Child care cuts hurt families and children. Families on waiting lists may have to turn down offers of employment or place children in a patchwork of environments for care. The cuts on the table could move the waiting list from 14,000 to 19,000 kids.

Reductions like these to child care will only undermine advancements in increasing access to high-quality, publicly funded pre-k.
 
United Way of Pennsylvania's public policy committee learned more about these childcare funding and quality challenges during their April meeting. Next, they will make decisions about whether UWP's policy agenda is current on the issues of quality child care and determine whether we want to take steps to expand our advocacy into this area. 

 
Opportunity to fight additional cuts to human services by supporting the #FamilyFirstPA Campaign

United Way of Pennsylvania is among a growing list of organizations supporting the #FamilyFirstPA Campaign. This social media campaign is an initiative of the Campaign for What Works, and is supported by the Pittsburgh Foundation, the United Way of Southwest PA and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. The campaign's goal is to move legislators to support human services through the telling of these stories, and that those legislators will vote to make sure there are no additional cuts to human services. The campaign will last at least for the duration of the 2017-2018 budget process.
 
There are several ways that United Ways can help. You can lend your organization's name to support the campaign, just as United Way of PA and several others have already done. The current list of supporters is available here
 
You can also follow and like the #FamilyFirstPA campaign on social media:
 
Finally, the Campaign also needs help to identify, recruit and engage families who care for loved ones and receive human services to tell their story and be featured in the campaign. The campaign has staff who can collect the stories, but needs help making connections to families in different communities. If you are able assist with this, please email jrdenny@dennycivicsolutions.com

UWP Conference Early Bird Registration Ending May 5
UWP's annual conference is fast approaching and the early bird registration rate will end soon! 

This year's conference will take place at the Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort from June 21-23.  We have a great agenda, fantastic speakers, and fun activities planned for the group. Bring your staff, your board members, and volunteers to network and learn.  

To attend the full conference, the early bird rate is $240. Please note this rate is going to be ending May 5! After May 5, the rate will increase to $270.  You can also use flex credits to get reimbursed for your travel expenses, including the EARLY BIRD rate.  

Register for the conference here! Room block closes May 21.  

This will be another great conference and we hope you will all join us! 
Urge Congress to fight for charities by expanding the charitable giving tax credit

The new Trump tax proposal would result in  28 million people losing their tax incentive to give to charities. All the provisions in the proposal combined will result in $34 billion less in giving each  year, according to an Urban Institute Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy report . This will damage the very fabric of the charitable sector and our communities. 

United Way supports expanding the charitable tax benefit so that everyone can claim the deduction, regardless of whether they itemize. This also supports the goal of simplifying tax filings.  You can learn more, and take action at this link
CHIP reauthorization sign-on letter 
CHIP is up for Congressional reauthorization, which will need to take place by September 30 this year.  Without action by Congress, funding will expire for this vital program, which puts millions of children at risk for lapse or loss of healthcare coverage by the end of 2017.  

First Focus, a national organization, advocating for children and families to be a priority in federal policy and budgeting, is circulating a sign-on letter urging Congress to reauthorize CHIP funding.  

UWP has signed on,  and we strongly urge your support in signing on and your help in distributing the letter to your community stakeholders. Signatures are required by Wednesday, May 3.   To sign-on to the letter, please click here.  
UWW Annual Meeting proxies due May 9

UWW's  Annual Meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 10 at the Community Leaders Conference. U.S.A and Worldwide board members will be elected at this meeting. All proxies must be submitted to United Way Worldwide by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 9. Proxies should be signed by the chief volunteer officer and submitted one of three ways:
Via fax to 703.683.7846 with a hard copy sent by mail.

Via mail to United Way Worldwide, Attn: Executive Office,  701 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia  22314

Vote online using the following link: 2017 Annual Meeting Online Proxy 
 
UWP offers support for school breakfast program sign-on letter
UWP and other United Ways signed onto a letter a few weeks ago, which supported Governor Wolf's proposed $2 million investment to boost utilization of the state's school breakfast program.  

With this funding, the Governor would also be able to leverage millions in federal funds and would help schools adopt and expand school breakfast programs.  

You can read the full letter here.