United Way of Pennsylvania          LIVE UNITED
UWP Update - June 8 , 2018
What do you want to know about your fellow United Ways? What do you need to learn about future generations of donors and volunteers? Submit questions via email or  @unitedwaypa #UWP2018Erie
UWP 2018 Conference: Sailing Towards the Future in 2 weeks! #UWPErie2018
UWP's 2018 Conference will be kicking off in Erie on June 20th! UWP staff is busy getting ready. While you're getting ready yourself, here are some helpful tips to remember:
  • The weather in Erie is currently looking warm with showers intermittent throughout the time we are there. Our conference will take place indoors in air conditioning we will be unable to directly control. We advise bringing a light sweater or jacket for this and evening use. 
  • We suggest business casual attire Wednesday and Thursday, and casual for those who are joining us on the Victorian Princess cruise Thursday evening. On Friday, wearing jeans is encouraged! 
  • The registration table will be open at 9:00am on Wednesday morning (conference starts at 10:00am) and 8:00am on Thursday morning (general sessions start at 9:00am.) The registration table will be open all day Wednesday and until after lunch on Thursday. Please make sure to register to obtain your name badge and packet. If you don't register, you will be unable to be reimbursed with flex credits.
  • If you have decided to join us for the Victorian Princess cruise, you will receive a ticket at registration. Please present your ticket at the Victorian Princess to board the boat. The boat boards from Dobbin's Landing, a short walk from the Sheraton. Boarding will start at 6:00pm and all passengers need to be boarded at 6:15pm. 
  • There will be a cash bar on the cruise for all attendees, heavy hors d'oeuvres will be provided. 
  • Volunteers from Titusville Student United Way are volunteering on Thursday to direct attendees to their rooms and present speakers. We are very grateful to have them - if you have an issue beyond obtaining directions please look for UWP staff!
This year, we will be welcoming seventy attendees, speakers, and sponsors. Our attendees will represent 27 PA United Ways from all over the state. Our keynote speaker, Beth Zimmer, is the co-founder and managing director of the Innovation Collaborative. Our speakers come from United Way Ottawa, United Way Worldwide, the Dollywood Foundation, the University of Michigan, Erie-Crawford Central Labor, Perspectives Issue-Focused Guidance, FamilyWize, and Titusville Student United Way. 

We couldn't do this conference without our sponsors! Thank you so much to ABCMouse.com, FamilyWize, Mutual of America, Kaplan Early Learning Company, and OnTrack Backpack! Their representatives will also be at the conference, so please be on the lookout for them!

We're also looking for questions you may want answers to! What do you want to learn about your fellow United Ways? What do you want to know about planning for future generations of donors and volunteers? Submit your questions via email to amanda@uwp.org, by tweeting @unitedwaypa, or  submit here !

75% of PA voters favor increasing public funding for Pre-K

A new poll commissioned by the Pre-K for PA Campaign and conducted by Harrisburg-based Harper Polling shows 75 percent of likely voters support increasing funding to expand access to high-quality, publicly funded pre-kindergarten. The numbers have grown since a 2013 Pre-K for PA commissioned poll conducted by Lake Research Partners/Bellwether Research and Consulting had 63% of likely voters indicating that they favored increasing funding to ensure access to pre-k for all Pennsylvania kids.  

Furthermore, 94 percent of Pennsylvanians think early childhood education is important for the children of the commonwealth.Every single voting demographic in the state favors expanded access to pre-k by at least a two-to-one margin. Seniors favor it by more than a three-to-one margin. Conservatives are for expanded access at a rate of two-to-one.   

Although no tax increase is being discussed in the current state budget, nearly two-thirds of likely Pennsylvania v oters polled by Harper from May 22-23 a lso said that they would support a tax increase to expand pre-k access. Sixty-four percent of Pennsylvanians said they would pay an extra $50 in taxes to fund pre-k, which would equal a .01 increase in PIT (personal income tax) for the average Pennsylvania taxpayer. This number has also grown since the 2013 poll, when only 56 percent of voters polled said they were willing to pay higher taxes to support pre-k investments.

House Bill 2429 creates opportunity for payday lenders to act as brokers under PA Credit Services Organization laws 

A recently-introduced piece of legislation, House Bill 2429, that would weaken Pennsylvania's payday lending laws, is up for a vote in committee next Wednesday, June 13th. House Bill 2429 would allow for payday lenders to pose as loan brokers in order to charge unlimited broker fees, essentially driving up the cost of the loan. This legislation would not consider these broker fees as interest, thus creating a loophole to evade Pennsylvania's interest rate caps.

You may be aware that Pennsylvania has some of the strongest laws to guard against payday lending in the country. These laws put a cap on the amount of fees and interest a lender can charge. This has saved Pennsylvanians a significant amount of money and prevented debt traps. House Bill 2429 would compromise these strong laws.

UWP met with the House commerce committee chairman, Rep. Brian Ellis, to discuss our concerns with the legislation and the negative impact it will have on the financial stability of Pennsylvanians. The chairman did mention some possible amendments to the bill that we will be reviewing once they are shared.

We will continue to keep members updated on any developments with the legislation, as we work diligently to protect Pennsylvanians from these harmful debt traps.

Lyft, United Way and 2-1-1 partner on pilot to fulfill unmet transportation needs in 12 metropolitan areas

Transportation is one of the highest unmet needs categories for 2-1-1s across the country due to limited public transportation availability in most communities and a lack of low-cost alternatives. 2-1-1 receives over 250,000 requests for transportation help every year. Beginning in June, 2-1-1 specialists in 12 metro areas will be able to dispatch a free Lyft ride for a caller in need who meets certain eligibility requirements and for whom no other local resource is available.

Eligible purposes include getting 2-1-1 callers to and from medical appointments or other healthcare location, for job interviews and other employment needs, and for veterans' services. The pilot will continue through the end of November 2018. In Pennsylvania, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, as well as United Way of Southwestern PA, are participating.

June Webinar Reminders 

June is a busy month for learning at UWP! If you're unable to make it to your conference, you can still take a look at our June webinars! 

All webinars are going to be recorded and emailed to registered participants. In addition, webinars will be made available to members on our members only training site which can be found by going to  

This webinar will talk about the role of unconscious bias in how humans make decisions, why it has evolved, and how it can be harmful. Concrete strategies will be given that can lessen the role of unconscious bias in a work environment. 

June 29th 3:00pm: United Way of PA State Budget Overview 
Kristen Rotz and Maggie Livelsberger will present UWP's overview of the State Budget, describing the current status of the budget, highlighting areas that can affect local United Ways, and promoting positive action with legislators. 

If you have any questions about the webinars, or would like to request a specific topic, please reach out to Amanda Barbarich via email or by calling (717) 238-7365 x206
May state revenue collections update 

The state released the May revenue collections last week, which ended up being less than anticipated for the month. $2.5 billion was collected in revenue for the General Fund, but was just short the anticipated amount by $42.6 million (1.7%). While this month's collections were slightly down, for the fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections are $121.5 million above estimate, totaling $31.5 billion.

The total tax collections in May exceeded the estimates by $20.9 million (0.9%). Several tax categories had a strong month, including inheritance, personal income, and sales and use taxes.   Non-tax revenues totaled $12.4 million in May, which was below estimate by $63.5 million. Although it was a slower month for non-tax revenues, year-to-date those collections are 6.4% above estimate.

The continued stability in actual revenue collections being on par with expectations has contributed to rapid, positive movement on state budget negotiations. Many on both sides of the aisle believe that the state budget will actually be completed about a week before the June 30 expiry of PA's fiscal year. 

Study provides cost of living comparison for rural and urban counties

Research from Penn State Erie - The Behrend College confirms that the cost of living is lower in rural Pennsylvania than urban counties. 

Overall cost of living tends to be highest among counties in the southeastern and southwestern parts of PA.
Rural costs of living are lower than urban counties in five areas - groceries, housing, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods and services. The only category for which costs are higher in rural areas is for utilities. Housing costs are generally most significantly lower in rural areas. While generally urban residents pay 10.9 percent more than rural residents for their cost of living, when it comes to housing, the average is 32.7 percent higher for urban counties.

Compared to other states across the country, and on a population-weighted basis, PA's cost of living is about 10.7 percent more on average than other Americans. Pennsylvanians pay 26.8 percent more, on average, for housing than Americans elsewhere. Health care costs in Pennsylvania are lower than the US average by 6.2 percent.


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