Social service organization sues Wolf administration over budget impasse funding

Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth and Family Services announced it has filed a lawsuit on behalf of its 100 private providers of child welfare and juvenile justice services to compel Gov. Tom Wolf and the Department of Human Services to fund what they believe are essential services in the midst of the ongoing budget stalemate.

“Since July 1, PCCYFS has tried to work in a proactive and positive manner with the Wolf administration to have the state’s child welfare and juvenile justice services designated as essential services to ensure that public dollars flow despite the current budget impasse,” said Bernadette Bianchi, Executive Director of PCCYFS in a news release about the lawsuit.

“Unfortunately the governor’s office has failed to acknowledge the Commonwealth’s responsibility to financially support funding for these mandated services. We wish we did not have to take this legal action, but it is necessary to ensure that children, who are entitled to these services, continue to have uninterrupted access to these crucial services.”

According to the organization, many of the programs not receiving funding are court-ordered and mandatory or are necessary for the protection of children.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Who is winning the hearts and minds battle of the budget stalemate?

Pennsylvania’s budget impasse is now two and a half months old. In that time, advocacy for budget priorities and the levying of blame for the impasse has gone from the halls of the Capitol to the air waves, television ads, and social media.

So, who is winning the public relations battle for the hearts and minds of Pennsylvanians? The PLS Reporter reached out to a smattering of Harrisburg-based PR professionals to get their take.

Monday, September 14, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Scarnati and Stack team up to raise money for children’s hospitals

Seven years ago when he was Lieutenant Governor, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) and now-Senate Republican Caucus Chief Counsel Drew Crompton came up with an idea: set up a bike ride for charity.

Now in its seventh year and third Lieutenant Governor, the 100-mile bike ride has raised around $900,000 for Pennsylvania’s children’s hospitals, including this year’s donations.

The three-day event takes riders from Gettysburg to Annville, where recipients will be presented with this year’s donation.

The first day beginning on September 11 will take riders from Gettysburg to York, the next day will take riders from York to Hershey, and the Sunday leg will take riders from Hershey to the Lieutenant Governor’s residence in Annville.

Speaking about the event to The PLS Reporter Friday, Crompton noted the event’s humble beginnings.

“At the time, [Sen. Scarnati] had a broken down Huffy in his garage,” he said. “He looked at me as if I was crazy.”

Friday, September 11, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
VIDEO: Citizens 4 Kane rally for the embattled Attorney General

VIDEO: Citizens 4 Kane rally for the embattled Attorney General

Bill Kiesling of Citizens 4 Kane discusses the concerns of the organization regarding due process for Attorney General Kathleen Kane. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
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Hunger relief fundraiser nixed by budget stalemate

The ongoing budget stalemate is the reason behind the cancellation of the third annual Capitol All-Stars Softball Game, organizers said Thursday.

The event, which is comprised of a bipartisan, bicameral group of 70 lawmakers split into two separate teams playing softball in an effort that raises money for food banks and other hunger relief organizations, had raised $175,000 over the past two years.

Thursday, September 10, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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