Budget Briefing: Government that Works – Health and Safety

first_imgBudget Briefing: Government that Works – Health and Safety February 09, 2016 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Budget News,  Government That Works,  Press Release Over the past year, Governor Tom Wolf has worked hard to make sure Pennsylvania’s government is responsive and responsible in fulfilling its duty to provide essential social services for our most vulnerable citizens.For government, there is no greater call or responsibility than ensuring the health and safety of citizens. Governor Wolf made this a major priority in 2015-2016 by expanding health care for more than 500,000 Pennsylvanians, battling the heroin and opioid crisis, improving benefits for kids receiving CHIP health insurance, funding four new cadet classes for the Pennsylvania State Police, and protecting consumers from dramatic insurance premium increases.But we are at a crossroads. Pennsylvania is facing a nearly $2 billion deficit that will balloon to more than $2.6 billion in the coming years. The deficit is a ticking time bomb over Pennsylvania. When it explodes, we will be forced to cut funding for human service programs and senior assistance in order to balance the budget.We can build on the progress made in the past year by continuing to improve the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians with smart investments, continuing the fight against opioids, and helping seniors receive the medical assistance they need. Or we can choose a different path and our looming deficit will force deep cuts in human services and senior assistance.FAILURE TO ACTIt is time for the legislature to work with Governor Wolf to honestly address the fiscal crisis facing Pennsylvania. A failure to address this problem will lead to serious harm to our most vulnerable populations:Deep Cuts in Prescription Drug AssistanceWe will lose nearly $200 million in services to Pennsylvania seniors including prescription drug assistance and home and community based services. Pennsylvania seniors who depend on that assistance will be forced to pay more out of pocket and some will have to choose between paying for groceries and paying for the medicine that keeps them alive. These are our elderly parents and neighbors, and they are counting on this funding to pay for the medicine they need. But if we don’t have a budget, we can’t help.Loss of Funds For Treatment of Mental IllnessWe would lose nearly $180 million in assistance for people living with mental illness or intellectual disabilities. These Pennsylvanians are the most vulnerable among us, and they are counting on our help to live a full life and contribute to their communities. But if we don’t have a budget, they will be denied significant opportunities to improve their lives.A Difficult Reality for Working ParentsWe will lose $40 million in state funding for child care, and thus forfeit nearly $50 million in federal matching funds, for a total cut of nearly $90 million. Hundreds of thousands of working parents are counting on our help to have some peace of mind and the ability to earn the living upon which they raise their families. But if we don’t have a budget, 211,000 Pennsylvania children will have nowhere to go.Less Protection for Crime VictimsWe will lose $11.5 million in funding for domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers. Survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault rely on these safe havens to have somewhere to go in the midst of unthinkable pain and unspeakable terror. But if we don’t have a budget, those shelters and crisis centers will have to shut their doors to the people who need them.Critical programs such as these make up nearly three-quarters of our human services budget. And while the Wolf Administration will always strive to tackle fraud and be as efficient as possible, making cuts that impact single mothers, seniors on fixed incomes, or those who are down on their luck will not solve our fiscal crisis, no matter how often it is repeated in the press or news releases.CHOOSING A RESPONSIBLE PATHWe can also choose a responsible path: one that addresses our deficit to avoid critical program cuts and makes smart investments in programs that combat some of Pennsylvania’s biggest social crises:Continue the Fight Against the Heroin and Opioid EpidemicPennsylvania has a public health crisis: there were nearly 2,500 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania in 2014 – more than deaths caused by automobiles. And 2015 is expected to be worse. Pennsylvania leads the nation in overdose deaths by males aged 19 to 25. We know that that 80 percent of crime is driven by untreated or poorly treated substance use disorder (SUD). This is a crisis that affects every family in Pennsylvania in some way. To continue the Wolf Administration’s efforts to combat this serious, statewide epidemic, the governor’s 2016-2017 budget provides over $34 million to treat over 11,250 new individuals with SUD and provide 50 new Health Homes for individuals with SUD.Reform Pennsylvania’s Criminal Justice SystemWe are at a crossroads in our criminal justice system: we can either commit to changing the status quo by investing in early childhood education and intervention programs and overhauling public policies that have sent too many of our citizens into prison and making them too likely to return after their release. Or, we can continue to spend money building prisons instead of fixing our roads and schools.Governor Wolf’s 2016-2017 budget allots more funding to hire personnel to lower staffing ratios for inmates with mental illness and provides the most appropriate treatment for their needs. Additionally, this budget provides $300,000 to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for grants to establish problem-solving courts.Protect Our Farmers and Food SuppliersThe governor, in July 2015, allocated and has preserved $3.5 million for planning and response efforts related to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). This restricted funding has been critical, allowing Pennsylvania’s work on HPAI to continue uninterrupted. The 2016-17 Budget provides $3.5 million to continue these preparedness efforts.Care for Our Most VulnerableThe governor’s budget creates long-term stability for essential social services by continuing the effort to restore the 10 percent cut made to human services programs four years ago. The governor’s budget also increases state support by $10 million to support more than 1,900 children and their families through evidence-based home visiting services and provides $12 million to allow an additional 2,400 children currently on the Child Care Works Waiting List to receive care so their parents can continue to work and support their families.The transfer of CHIP to Department of Human Services will enhance administrative functions, reduce maintenance and operational costs, and combined with federal matching assistance, save the state more than $100 million. Additionally, the move to DHS will allow the commonwealth to identify eligible children who are currently uninsured and connect them to appropriate services.Read more posts about Governor Wolf’s 2016-17 budget.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolflast_img read more

Legal help for eviction notices during moratorium

first_imgStatewide—Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed a statewide order in March that placed a moratorium on most tenant evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. In mid-May he extended that moratorium until July 1. But that has not prevented some Indiana landlords from filing eviction lawsuits anyway.The only exception to this rule is emergency evictions are now permitted if there is a specific immediate and serious injury, damage, or loss to the property.  Also, emergency foreclosures are permitted if the property is vacant or if there is a specific immediate and serious injury, damage, or loss to the property. If you or someone you know has questions in regards to renter’s rights or eviction, you can call Indiana Legal Services’ general intake line (844-243-8570) weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to be connected to help. Individuals seeking legal assistance can also contact the agency online at IndianaLegalServices.org.last_img read more

Jones brushes off confidence issue

first_img “It is a results game, we know that and we’ve not picked up as many points as we would’ve liked and we have to start doing that,” said Tuesday’s match-winner. “Players’ confidence does go a little bit but we are professionals at the end of the day and we have to do the right job and deal with that. “We are at Manchester United and there is pressure at every game.” Prior to the Shakhtar game Moyes suggested all the responsibility for poor results should be down to him but Jones said the squad had not played their part. “We go out and play so we have to look at ourselves and take full responsibility,” he added. “The manager puts the team out but we have to go out and deliver for him and the last couple of games we’ve probably not done that. “It (Tuesday) was all about winning and we’ve done that now. Now we have to perform as well.” United head to Aston Villa on Sunday and Jones accepts they have to win again to start generating some momentum. Press Association Manchester United midfielder Phil Jones admits the players’ confidence may have been shaken by their recent poor run but insists they have to be professional and deal with it. David Moyes’ side have taken just two points from their last four league matches, including back-to-back home defeats against Everton and Newcastle. They avoided making it three successive home losses – which would have been the first time since 1962 – with a 1-0 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek and Jones hopes that will put them back on track. “It is massive. We need to put things right in the league and that starts on Sunday. We need to get three points and go on a run. “We have said it before but it is time we kicked on. “We’ve had a disappointing couple of weeks but hopefully we can now start picking up some points. “Villa are a tricky team but we have to go there and get three points.” Defender Jonny Evans felt there were signs in their performance against Shakhtar that showed they were still trying to do positive things and not take the safe option, especially as they needed only a draw to top their Champions League group. “We were a bit sloppy in the first half but, once the second half began, I felt that we started to stamp our authority on the game and we controlled the game more and looked to pass it a bit better,” he said. “We showed courage to play in the right areas and we showed courage on the ball. “Players were keen to come and take the ball and I think it played a big part.” last_img read more

Valcke: Suarez needs to seek help

first_img Press Association Valcke, FIFA’s secretary general, told a news conference in Rio that the ban reflected the “unacceptable” behaviour on the world stage and that the 27-year-old should “seek treatment” as it was his third biting offence. Liverpool are taking legal advice over the case but Valcke claimed the worldwide ban was correct. He said: “It’s not Liverpool who is punished. It’s the player who is punished. “What happened with Suarez was far beyond the fair play and the attitude you should have when you play at the World Cup. “When you are with the 32 teams among 23 players in each team you have to show the best of the best as they are the example for the rest of the world. “I applaud the decision which was made by the committee to sanction the player in this way because what he did is unacceptable and not the image we want to give to the world.” He added: “I think he should find a way to stop doing it. He should go through a treatment and find something, it is definitely wrong. “It is more than one incident that’s why it has to be exemplary.” Suarez’s victim Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini has said the punishment was “excessive” but Valcke insisted it was proportionate. FIFA chief Jerome Valcke has claimed Liverpool are not being punished by the four-month worldwide ban imposed on Luis Suarez for biting and told the striker to seek treatment for his behaviour. Suarez’s ban for biting an opponent while playing at the World Cup for Uruguay means he would miss 13 matches for Liverpool between the start of the season and the end of October. He is also banned for nine international games and has been fined 100,000 Swiss francs (£66,000). Suarez’s lawyer has described the sanctions as “grotesque and absurd” and added that “all that was missing was life imprisonment”. He said: “You will always find someone who will say it is excessive – so what? They are decisions made by the disciplinary committee based on what has been seen by hundreds of millions of people. It is not what you want your kids, the little ones playing football around the world to see at the World Cup. “That’s not what you do at any level of football or in life.” The international players’ union FIFPro has questioned why Liverpool should be affected by the ban and said FIFA should have included treatment and rehabilitation as part of the sanction. An appeal is being lodged against the decision and Suarez’s lawyer Alejandro Balbi said they would take the case all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and that he remained in constant contact with Liverpool. He told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope: “The ban is absolutely disproportionate considering what Luis did. “Julio Grondona, vice-president of FIFA, told me that he had never seen such a serious ban handed to a player. “This is so grotesque and absurd that the CAS will have to revoke this unjust ruling. “Unjust not just due to the number of games given, which is already incredible, illogical and arbitrary, but also the issue of not being able to be allowed to have any relationship with football in 120 days, and then there’s the fine. All that was missing was life imprisonment. “We are in constant contact with Liverpool and we are ready to fight until the end.” Betting website 888poker announced on Thursday that it had ended its arrangement with Suarez following the incident, a decision Balbi described as “madness”. Chiellini has expressed his sympathy for Suarez, and said in a statement on his website the punishment was “excessive” adding: “At the moment my only thought is for Luis and his family, because they will face a very difficult time.” Suarez has left Uruguay’s national team in Brazil and returned home to Montevideo. Liverpool are working their way through the legal minefield of the four-month ban but are still a long way from even considering launching a challenge to FIFA. The club have dismissed claims by Balbi that their representatives are meeting with him and the player’s agent Pere Guardiola in Barcelona on Friday. FIFA has confirmed the ban would not prevent Suarez being transferred to another club. last_img read more