Human Services

Third and State This Week: PA Budget, Human Services Block Grant and the Affordable Care Act Is Here to Stay

This week at Third and State, we blogged about details of the 2012-13 state budget, resistance to creating a human services block grant, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward highlighted details of the 2012-13 budget, which sets spending below the budgeted 2008-09 levels, despite four years of recession-driven increases in demand for services. Chris Lilienthal had an initial overview of the budget earlier in the week. Chris also had a blog post about a provision in the draft Fiscal Code bill that would require nonprofit service providers to report on executive salaries and other administrative expenses. And he had a short post linking to an overview of education policy changes that are moving along with the budget.
  • On human services, Chris Lilienthal blogged about Representative Gene DiGirolamo's plan to establish a pilot program for the human services block grant. Sharon Ward followed up with a post looking at efforts by the Corbett administration to turn the pilot program into a Human Services Block Grant Lite.
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal wrote about the Supreme Court's decision upholding the Affordable Care Act and how important it is for state officials to move forward with implementing it in a consumer friendly way. Intern Alan Bowie had a Morning Must Reads post highlighting news coverage of the decision.
  • In other Morning Must Reads, Alan Bowie blogged about news reports on local unemployment rates and on budget cuts hitting General Assistance, county human services and early childhood education. Intern Jamar Thrasher had a Morning Must Read on hope that kindergarten may be saved from budget cuts in Harrisburg.

Note: We will have more blog posts next week, but we will not have a weekly roundup on Friday, July 6 because of the Fourth of July holiday. We will resume the weekly roundup blog post on Friday, July 13. In the meantime, keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Corbett Administration Wants Human Services Block Grant Lite

There is still no agreement on the Human Services Block Grant, and the details of a proposed pilot program continue to stall progress on the budget. 

An Added Layer of Bureaucracy

As nonprofit providers of human services work to do more with less after years of state cutbacks, lawmakers are planning to give them one more thing to do.

A Closer Look at the State Budget

Details of the 2012-13 state budget agreement have emerged with the release of spreadsheets Tuesday, and some details of the code language that will accompany the budget.

Lawmaker Proposes Pilot Program for County Block Grant

With less than a week to go until the state budget deadline, policymakers in Harrisburg are still at odds over how to fund county services for children, the homeless and people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities.

Governor Tom Corbett is holding firm on his plan to cut funding for a number of county human service programs and roll it all into a new block grant, despite opposition among Republicans and Democrats in the state House.

Daily Must Reads: Budget Cuts HIt General Assistance, County Human Services, Early Childhood Education

With the race to finish the state budget under way in Harrisburg, newspapers are taking a look at the fallout of budget cuts and how they will hurt citizens across Pennsylvania. WHYY's Newsworks reports that the state is getting ready to cut off General Assistance benefits effective next month, but no one is telling the people who will be directly impacted.

Third and State This Week: State Budget Framework, Public-Sector Job Losses and Liquor Privatization Stalls

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the $27.65 billion budget framework announced by the governor and legislative leaders, the stalled debate over liquor privatization in Pennsylvania, how public-sector job losses have hurt the broader economy, teacher layoffs in Reading, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Chris Lilienthal highlighted news reports on the $27.65 billion budget framework announced by Governor Tom Corbett and legislative leaders and followed up with a roundup of news reports as budget details began to emerge.
  • Intern Alan Bowie stepped up this week to write Morning Must Reads:
    • On Monday, he highlighted news stories on teacher layoffs in Reading and reining in the sales tax vendor discount.
    • On Tuesday, he summed up a news report on Washington State's experience with liquor privatization and new estimates putting Pennsylvania's June revenue surplus at $100 million.
    • And on Wednesday, he had a roundup that included a look at how public-sector layoffs are hurting the broader economy and news that debate on a liquor privatization bill stalled in the House and will be pushed to the fall.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Morning Must Reads: Piecing Together the Budget Framework

Some details emerged Thursday about the state budget framework unveiled midweek by Governor Tom Corbett and legislative leaders, but questions still remain. More details may be available later today when budget spreadsheets are released.

Funding for county human services is one area that appears to be in flux, as some House Republicans continue to voice concerns about a plan to block grant and cut that funding. 

Daily Must Reads: Layoffs in the Public Sector, Jobs at the Cracker Plant and Liquor Privatization Pushed to Fall

The New York Times this morning takes a look at layoffs in the public sector across the country and what they mean for education, law enforcement, and overall unemployment. The story shines a light on recent public-sector layoffs here in Pennsylvania, with a little context provided by our own Mark Price.

Third and State This Week: PA Budget, Liquor Privatization, Very Hot Working Conditions and CEO Pay

This week at Third and State, we blogged about where the state budget is at, protesters pressuring Amazon to install air conditioning in warehouses, how much CEOs earned in 2011 and more. Plus, we responded to attacks on a recent Keystone Research Center report on alcohol privatization and alcohol-related traffic deaths.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On privatization, Stephen Herzenberg responded to an attack from a spokesman with the Commonwealth Foundation on a recent Keystone Research Center report showing that states like Pennsylvania which tightly control alcohol distribution have fewer alcohol-related traffic deaths as a result.
  • On the workplace, Michael Wood highlighted a news report on how protesters pressured Amazon into installing air conditioning in its warehouses across the U.S.
  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward shared her memo to reporters and editors providing an overview of where things are at with the budget.
  • On education and the economy, Mark Price wrote about recent news reports on student loan debt for college dropouts and new figures showing that the typical CEO made $4,615 an hour in 2011.
  • And on health care, Chris Lilienthal noted a news report on efforts by conservative groups to persuade states to not create state-level health insurance exchanges.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

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