United Way of Pennsylvania
UWP Update - December 8, 2017
Governor Tom Wolf, celebrates the 2017 Capitol Christmas tree lighting with pre-k kids! This year the tree was decorated with over 300 ornaments made by various pre-k kids throughout PA! 
Capitol tree reminds us how far we have come expanding pre-k access for 3- and 4-year olds, and how far we have to go

Passing through the Capitol Rotunda today it is difficult to miss the 22' Frazier Fir adorned with 1,500 hand-crafted ornaments created by pre-k students from across the commonwealth. You also couldn't help but smile at the nearly five dozen pre-k students who joined Governor Wolf to kick off the holiday season in the Capitol at the official tree-lighting ceremony.

What is easier to forget is that these fortunate students represent a small handful of the 3,700 students who have benefitted this year thanks to the leadership of Gov. Wolf and the PA Legislature's continued commitment to pre-k expansion. Please join us in thanking the governor for his ongoing support and for offering our campaign the opportunity to decorate this year's tree - we consider it an honor. Click here to send him an email showing your appreciation, or take to social media to Tweet him or post a thank you on his Facebook page.

Join us too as we reflect on how far Pre-K for PA has come, thanks to supporters like you, and how far we have to go. Since our inception, pre-k funding has increased dramatically allowing for thousands of PA kids to participate in pre-k

In 2018, Pre-K for PA will be advocating for an $85 million increase in pre-k spending as part of the FY 2018-19 PA budget. Nearly 113,000 at-risk three- and four-year-olds across the commonwealth still do not have access to high-quality pre-k. With roughly 64% of eligible preschool-age children unable to access high-quality pre-k, Pennsylvania can and must do better.

The upcoming year will be an important one, as we will be advocating for 10,000 more kids to get access to pre-k to a field of candidates vying for office, in addition to our current elected officials in Harrisburg.

For a list of the pre-k centers that donated ornaments for our tree and to see photos from the tree lighting, please visit us here.

Congress rushes to complete budget and tax reform before Christmas holiday

On December 7, Congress passed a two-week extension to the federal budget, which was set to expire on December 9. This averts a potential government shutdown but additional action will be required before adjourning for the holiday recess. This also impacts CHIP, as there is an unwillingness to pass CHIP reauthorization absent a compromise on the federal budget at large.

Most attention of federal policymakers is focused on tax reform. Prior to the final vote on the Senate floor last weekend, United Way Worldwide issued a statement of opposition and asked Senators to vote no. It noted little to no benefit for low-income families, and undermining of United Way's work due to changes which will result in 95% of Americans who currently claim the charitable deduction no longer having access to that tax benefit.

In the statement, Brian Gallagher said, "As bad as the deficit implications are in this bill, the threshold for United Way is the harm the bill will do to private charities. The elimination of the charitable deduction for 31 million middle and upper-middle income taxpayers causes such damage to our ability to help people, we have no choice but to oppose the bill." 

U.S. President Mary B. Sellers added, "The charitable sector proposed a straight-forward, cost-effective fix that would have actually increased future charitable giving. We were making our case on behalf of millions of low-income Americans who rely on our help, but who have no voice on Capitol Hill. But our efforts were largely dismissed and it looks like Congress disregarded evidence that was counter to the tax policy narrative." 

Tax reform is likely to be finalized largely behind closed doors in conference committee. And the conference committee's work will be limited in scope to those issues that are different between the House and Senate proposals. Because both proposals had the net effect of reducing the number of people who will claim the charitable deduction, if Congress completes tax reform, this change will be included in the new law. 
UWP board welcomes new members and elects new officers for 2018

The United Way of Pennsylvania board of directors met on December 7, 2017 in the Harrisburg area to conduct regular business and organize the board for the upcoming year. 

Congratulations to the following board members who were elected as officers: 
  • Chair of the Board:  Tammy Gentzel, Executive Director, Centre County United Way
  • Vice Chair of the Board:  Anthony (TJ) Andrisano, Associate, Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney
  • Treasurer:  Michael Albert, President & CEO, United Way of Monroe County
  • Assistant Treasurer:  Gayle Young, Executive Director, United Way of Lawrence County
The following new board members, who were elected earlier this year, have also now joined UWP's Board of Directors: 
  • Lisa Baumann, Director of Community Benefit and Partnerships, Geisinger Population Health (New to the United Way of Pennsylvania Board of Directors)
  • Andy Dessel, Program Officer, PennSERVE: the Governor's Office of Citizen Service (New to the United Way of Pennsylvania Board of Directors)
  • Tom Herman, President, SEIU Local 668 (New to the United Way of Pennsylvania Board of Directors)
  • Joanne Troutman, President, Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way (New to the United Way of Pennsylvania Board of Directors)

United Way Worldwide reveals data from Global Results Framework
On November 29, 2017 United Way Worldwide publicly released the aggregated data that had been submitted by 154 local United Ways globally. Seven Pennsylvania United Ways participated in the test round and submitted data through Clear Impact.

The Global Results Framework was developed to demonstrate to investors and partners that the United Way Network is making sustainable change and improving communities on a global scale. Over 60,000 companies that partner with United Way are increasingly global and they desire to see the value of investing in United Way.
The Global Results framework takes key data points from every United Way to gauge the collective contribution the United Way Network is making. Local United Ways were asked only to report in areas where they were implementing solutions, so not every United Way submitted data for every area.

The results from 2015 through 2016 measured outputs and outcomes related to United Way's impact areas. United Way Worldwide has created global snapshots of the data for each impact area. The data presented demonstrates progress made against some of society's toughest problems across zip codes for corporate partners who are also working globally. It measures key indicators that experts agree are important for success in impact areas our United Ways are dedicated to. If you would be interested in using or viewing the Global Results Framework data  click here, and if you have questions about reporting your own data using the Global Results Framework, click here.

UWP's Membership Directories completed! 
We have finalized the 2017-2018 membership directories! As you may recall, this was a new project UWP took on this year to catalog our each of our members, their contact information, services/programs offered, and community partners in an easy to read booklet for legislators.  Thank you to all our members who provided information to make these booklets available! We have delivered them to each legislator, as well as mailed a copy to each one of our members.  You can also find the directory online here

We hope you enjoy them as much as we do! 

CHIP Update

Congress has still not passed the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) reauthorization, which would continue funding for the program for an additional 5-years.  As many of you are aware, the program expired on September 30th.  While there has been a lot of bipartisan support for the program and legislation to reauthorize the program in both the U.S. House and Senate, the primary focus has been on finalizing a tax reform proposal and getting a spending bill across the finish line.  From information passed along from UWW, the best we can hope for is that CHIP will be taken up by end of the year in the final spending bill, as Congress has already decided not to run a standalone CHIP reauthorization bill. 
So what does this mean for Pennsylvania?   Currently, 180,000 Pennsylvania children are enrolled in the CHIP program and are at risk of losing their health coverage. Teresa Miller, acting Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, spoke on the CHIP program earlier this week, noting they are working through the numbers to determine how much money is still left in the program for PA and how far those funds will stretch.  At this point, without reauthorization notifications will soon be sent to parents on the closure of the CHIP program. 

UWP is closely monitoring the situation at the federal and state level.  We circulated a sign-on letter to our members and the network, which we delivered to both House and Senate leadership on November 16th with over 80 signatures! There are also updated social media posts on the members' only section of UWP's website, here to engage your legislators. These messages have been tailored to include some more urgency in the matter and we encourage you to utilize these messages throughout December.  We will continue to keep membership apprised of any developments.  

UWP training needs survey

United Way of Pennsylvania has recently sent a survey to members to determine what training our members are interested in receiving and how best to deliver training and resources. 

Many of the training topics are being considered for inclusion in the 2018 Statewide Conference from June 20-22 in Erie. The agenda needs to be finalized in a timely manner to ensure flex credits will be available for members to attend. Please rememebr to complete the survey by December 22. If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Barbarich at amanda@uwp.org. The survey can be found here.

PA's November revenue collections running ahead 

November revenues came in ahead for the Pennsylvania's General Fund, reaching nearly $50 million above estimates.  This allowed for the overall fiscal year to remain running above estimates at $26.1 million, or 0.2 percent.

All of PA's top performing revenue sources- the Personal Income Tax (PIT), the Sales and Use Tax (SUT) and the Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT)- did better than expected in November, at 0.4 percent ahead of expectations, or $47.2 million.  The SUT collections came in at $23.6 million, 2.9 percent, above estimate and the PIT came in at $10.5 million, or 1.2 percent, above estimates.  Corporate taxes came in at $9 million, or 9.5 percent, above estimates.  One collection that ran below November's estimated revenue were the "sin taxes", which include items such as liquor sales, certain tobacco products, and gambling.  Those taxes came in at $4.4 million below estimates.