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What's Happening at United Way?

First-Time PA 21-1 State Investment 
Fall is officially upon us, and what a busy summer it was! UWP was working on advocacy surrounding the state budget, in hopes of securing a first-ever state investment into our PA 2-1-1 system.   We are pleased to announce the Senate and House agreed to a spending proposal that includes a $750,000 investment! This investment will be used to bring 2-1-1 access to the remaining counties in Pennsylvania who do not currently have access.  Additionally, this money will be used to allow for text and chat in each region, with 24/7 coverage.  The commitment from the legislature is the first step in what United Ways hope will be a long-term partnership. 

United Way Celebrations 
Recently, a few of our United Way members celebrated milestones! 

United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley just celebrated their 100th year! This is a huge anniversary, which called for a big celebration fit for the occasion! Take a look at the gallery from their Gala here.  

Another big milestone was celebrated by Bradford County United Way, who observed their 40-year anniversary! Be sure to take a look at the news article to the right to see how they celebrated! 

Congratulations to our members and the entire United Way Network! 

Welcome New Executive Directors 
This year there has been a few United Way retirements and few of our Executive Directors have moved on.  This leaves us with many new faces to welcome! 

Kate Fink began as the Executive Director of the United Way of Bedford County earlier in July. She comes to United Way from the Center for Community Action, which serves Bedford, Fulton and Huntingdon counties, where she was a housing intake specialist at the Center for Community Action

United Way of Butler welcomed Mary Ann Eisenreich to serve as interim Executive Director until the end of 2017.  Mary Anne has been heavily involved in United Way work in the past, most recently assisting with the expansion of PA 2-1-1 into the Northwest region of the commonwealth.  Prior to her involvement with United Way Mary Ann was the Special Assistant to former Governor, Tom Corbett. Presently she runs her own consulting firm, MAE Strategies. 

Help United Way by Advocating! 
It has been a busy year thus far at the federal level.  Between numerous healthcare reform proposals and tax reform, United Way has been highly involved with advocacy. There are still opportunities for you to get involved, which we explain below! 

The Senate was floating an ACA repeal/reform measure, deemed the Graham-Cassidy proposal. United Way, along with many others, had serious concerns with the proposal and we engaged our networks to fight for the health of every person in every community.  The Senate did not have enough votes to bring the proposal up and announced Tuesday they would let the legislation die and would not revisit the issue.  We do anticipate another push at some point for some type of healthcare reform.  

In other healthcare-related news, the CHIP program is set to expire this Saturday, September 30th.  Should this reauthorization not take place, many children will be in danger of losing their healthcare.  While most states have federal funds to continue providing to the CHIP program for a couple months, it is important this reauthorization take place as soon as possible.  This is something United Way is heavily involved in and which we will be continuing to follow as the weeks progress.  Help us encourage Congress to reauthorize CHIP quickly! 

In additional news, the President's tax reform framework was released this week.  This framework provides us with the priorities for the tax reform, but does not go into detail on how those priorities will be accomplished.  One element of the framework released would be to double the standard annual deduction for individuals and married filers.  This proposal would reduce the number of itemizers to 1 in 20, down from the current 1 in 3.  This is a concern to United Way, as it would remove the incentive for giving, with a projected lost of nearly $13 billion in charitable giving. Advocate to fight for charities.

Another tax initiative that is important to the United Way network is the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which are tax policies that encourage and reward work.  The expansion of the ETIC for low-wage workers not raising children at home and strengthening CTC for the lowest-income workers not only positively impact theses families and communities, but also the economy.  By expanding and supporting these tax credits, more money is coming back to workers for help paying for basics living necessities, including reliable transportation, housing, food, etc. Currently, the EITC excludes millions of workers who are not raising children at home, including young workers age 21-24 who are just starting out in the workforce.  These workers who are uneligible to claim the EITC are getting taxed further into poverty.   By expanding and strengthening the EITC and CTC, Pennsylvanians will greatly benefit.  In fact, 554,000 workers in PA would be able to then claim the tax credit, bringing money back home and back to our communities.  Please take a look at this flyer, which shows the positive impacts the EITC and CTC have on the commonwealthIf you are interested in helping to elevate the importance of the EITC and CTC, please help the United Way network take action here.  

PA United Ways in the News 
Land O' Lakes Fights Hunger Through United Way:

Bradford County: 40 Years United-United Way Celebrates Milestone:

Organizations Anxious Over Lack of State Budget: 

United Way Kicks off Annual Campaign:

Seniors Invited to Enjoy Free Yoga Classes:

Independence Blue Cross Launches "Be a Community Rock Star" Campaign for
United Way:

United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley Hosts 100-year Anniversary Gala:

United Way of Wyoming Valley Marks 50,000th Book Through Parton Library:

Groups Will Offer Opioid Education Workshops:

United Way Setting the Path:

More than 1,000 People Volunteer in Washington County for United Way's Day of Caring:
United Way Posts Funding Opportunities in Lancaster County:
United Way Fundraising Campaign Raises More than $1 Million in Three Weeks: 
UWP Board Meeting 
December 7th 

Check Out What Your Local United Way has Going On
United Way of Pennsylvania (UWP) is a state association representing our 52 member United Way's across the Commonwealth. 

UWP's mission is to assist and champion the efforts of local United Ways in advancing the common good

Primarily UWP's work consists of government relations work on the policy issues affecting PA's communities in the areas of health, education, and financial stability.  In addition, UWP works with our local United Way members to support their efforts and offer support to their mission.  

Visit United Way of Pennsylvania's website
to learn more about how local United Ways are working to advance the common good

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