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Vol. II No. 69 (229)

Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia

May 23, 2011

Philadelphia Daily Record

HEALTH, EDUCATION AND HOUSING agencies are predicting drastic cuts across Pennsylvania if the its House Republican majority’s proposed budget passes this coming Wednesday. See story page 3.


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The Philadelphia Public Record Calendar May 24Phoenix Salon & Spa hosts Women Empowering Women benefit for Project H.O.M.E., 1600 Arch St., 6-9 p.m. Tickets $60 advance, $75 at door. For info Lauren Millner (215) 232-7272, ext. 3045. May 27Free Clothing and Items Giveaway at Mt. Hebron Baptist Ch., 141519 Wharton St. Bring your own shopping bags/carts. Items for men, kids, babies, ladies, home. For info (215) 336-8163. Rev. R. Johnson Waller, Jr., Pastor, Sister CP Love, Missionaries Director. Jun. 3Fundraising Banquet to purchase Asian Service Bldg. at Ocean City Restaurant, 234 N. 9th St., 6:30 p.m. For info Chairman Mohan Parmer (215) 317-8262.

Jun. 4Badges of Honor 5 K run in Fairmount Park at 9 a.m. kicked off by Police Commissioner Ramsey, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, Prison Commissioner Louis Giorla and Mayor Michael Nutter. Jun. 16American Diabetes Ass’n honors Michael A. Rashid, president of AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Cos., as 2011 Father of the Year honoree at 1200 Awards Dinner at Loews Hotel, cocktail reception 5:30 p.m., dinner 6:30 p.m. Jul. 10Benefit for Women Veterans hosted by Cathy Santos at Mom’s Kitchen Table Garden Courtyard, 2317 Ridge Ave., 4-9 p. m. For info Cathy Santos (215) 834-4228.

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THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

23 MAY, 2011


Pa. House Budget Would Mean Cuts, Cuts, Cuts The Pennsylvania House of Representatives will vote on a budget

dents.”

on Wednesday, May 25 that cuts almost $1 billion from public schools and almost $500 million from health care, services for

A Philadelphia Inquirer survey of area districts last week showed similar results, with about nine in 10 responding districts saying

people with disabilities and vulnerable children.

they planned to eliminate jobs; all but a handful planned on tax As analysts have studied the budget proposal, submitted to the

increases.

House by the majority Republican caucus two weeks ago, more details on the planned funding reductions have come to light.

The state survey, taken in April, drew responses from just over half of the state’s 500 school districts.

They include, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a cut of $38.6 million from Head Start, Child Care Works and Pre-K Counts, two Pennsylvania pre-kindergarten programs, in addition to the elimination of full-day kindergarten programs in the budget

No school district plans are yet final and some will change if some of Corbett’s proposed $1.1 billion in public school cuts are rescinded.

proposed by Gove. Tom Corbett in March. About 7,000 children

The survey of business and school administrators found that 71%

may lose their day-care services as a result of the cut, according to

expected to cut instructional programs in the 2011-12 school year.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.

Class sizes are expected to increase in 86% of districts because of

“These are not numbers on a spreadsheet,” said Michelle Figlar, the executive director of the Pittsburgh Association for the Educa-

cuts in instructional staff. Elective courses might be trimmed in 71 percent of districts that responded. And 64% plan to eliminate or reduce tutoring, while 51% might drop summer school. Also,

tion of Young Children. “These are our children.”

31% of districts plan on ending full-day kindergarten, in most The budget also eliminates $6.3 million, or the total amount in

cases shrinking it to half-day.

State support, for community-based family centers. Elaine Harris-Fulton, chair of Community Voices, said the loss in funding could force the centers to trim services or close their doors, and at a time when services are in great demand due to the poor economy. Harris-Fulton asked, “In a time when people are in need, why cut what works?”

And three-fourths — nearly 10 times this year’s percentage — plan to reduce or eliminate extracurricular activities, including sports programs. More than a quarter are considering closing schools next year to reduce costs. A larger percentage of schools this year than last expect to have to

Meanwhile, most of the state’s school districts have announced plans for ‘severe’ cuts, according to two surveys published last

make cuts, Buckheit said. For example, 17% of districts increased class size this year, but about five times that number plan to next year.

week. The districts plan to increase class sizes, eliminate tutoring programs, slash summer school, cut full-day kindergarten, and shed staff, said spokesmen for business officials and school administrators.

A group of school superintendents have condemned what they call an attack on urban schools in particular in both the Governor’s and the Assembly’s budget plans. They say urban school districts get hit with a disproportionate

“The impact of the budget cuts is severe and will deeply impact the

share of state education cuts.

options for students throughout the state,” said Jim Buckheit, ex-

Scranton Superintendent William King, speaking on behalf of a

ecutive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Ad-

caucus of urban school leaders in the state, said the proposals cut

ministrators. “There will be fewer programs, fewer teachers, and

per-student spending more for low-income students, Black and

larger class sizes. It’s the wrong answer for Pennsylvania’s stu-

Hispanic students. These students are more likely to attend urban

23 MAY, 2011

THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

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schools.

“It’s a far cry from putting a dent in the

costs are allocated throughout the rest of

tion is available for individuals to access

us,” she told Capitolwire.

needed services. Demand has continued to grow for the county based MATP program,

budget hole we have to fill,” said King at a

James Redmond, senior vice president for

Capitol press conference. He is treasurer of

legislative services at HHAP, said the or-

the Pennsylvania League of Urban

ganization is “disappointed” with the

Schools, which includes 18 large-city dis-

House proposal. “We are very disappointed

tricts.

the hospital uncompensated care program

Mayor Michael Nutter announced last

funded by the tobacco-settlement fund has

week a proposal containing $16.5 million

been eliminated,” Redmond said.

in housing-related cuts to make up for re-

While House Republicans made a point, when releasing their proposed budget two

which is crucial for many Pennsylvanians who have no other options to go to medical appointments.

ductions in federal and state aid to

weeks ago, of noting that they restored fund-

The House Republican proposal to cut

ing to hospitals and other health care

$470 million from the Dept. of Public Wel-

providers, advocates for health care for the

fare budget to restore a portion of the Gov-

Administration officials said there would

poor have found the proposal includes a cut

ernor’s proposed cuts to basic and higher

be layoffs in more than a half-dozen City

of about $86 million in State funding for sup-

education means including significant cuts

agencies that directly or indirectly receive

plemental payments to acute-care hospitals.

to the Behavioral Health Services Initia-

money from the programs being cut.

Philadelphia.

tive, which provides mental-health and Unlike the Governor’s plan, which called for a $31.5 million increase to uncompensated care through the Tobacco Settlement

substance-abuse recovery services to uninsured people, and the Medical Assistance Transportation Program.

Fund, the House plan will total $116 mil-

About $5.3 million of the reductions will be made in personnel; the rest will come from reductions in certain housing services. For instance, about 700 fewer households next fis-

lion in reductions when federal matching

BHSI was cut by $4.3 million (8.26%) in

cal year will receive roofing, electrical, and

funds are taken into account. The federal

the House budget proposal. BHSI provides

plumbing repairs. An additional 135 fewer

government adds about $3 to every dollar

both mental-health and drug-and-alcohol

households will receive major system re-

the State spends on uncompensated care.

treatment for individuals with a low in-

placements, such as new furnaces or wiring.

come who do not qualify for Medicaid. If A report from the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, said the amount of uncompensated care provided by hospitals in Pennsylvania grew 8% –

the House proposal is implemented, the BHSI budget will have been cut by $9.5 million since fiscal year 2007-2008, a 16.6% cut over four years.

from $825 million in fiscal year 2009-10 to

In addition, the House proposal cuts $4.3

compensated care is hospital care for which

million from the State mental-health base

no payment was received from the patient

dollars. While this cut is less than 1%,

or insurer.

when combined with the BHSI decrease, the overall impact on community-based

Pennsylvania Budget & Policy Center, said

receive $9.1 million less than the $55.3

The City is also expected to lose $1.9 million from another federal grant, the HOME Program, through which it received $16.4 million this year. In addition, the State is eliminating $5 mil-

million.

lion of housing-related money it gives

costs back to individuals who have private

The House budget proposal cuts $9.6 mil-

health care.

lion (12.9%) from the Governor’s proposed budget from MATP. Federal regulations re-

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Block Grant program. The City is slated to

services is significant – a loss of over $8.5

the cuts to uncompensated care could shift

“[Hospitals] either absorb the costs or the

the federal Community Development

million it got this year.

$891 million in fiscal year 2010-11. Un-

Sharon Ward, executive director of the

Most of the money being cut comes from

quire the Medicaid assure that transportaTHE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

Philadelphia, and the city will receive $500,000 less from the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund. That fund was the source of $7.5 million this year. 23 MAY, 2011


Hughes Briefs Constituents On Budget Woes

STATE

SEN.

VIN-

CENT HUGHES held an open discussion with constituents in University City Science Center Saturday

to

reveal

grave issues at stake in State budget plans.

Libertarians Slam Stabile For Judge As 3rd-Party Foe Pennsylvania Libertarian Party chair Lou Jasikoff declared the GOP’s choice for Superior Court Judge as nothing short of shameful. Victor Stabile led the charge to get Libertarians knocked off the ballot in 2008 and was recently quoted as being pleased by efforts to keep the Green and Libertarian Parties from appearing on the statewide 2010 ballot. “Stabile cloaks himself in the American flag while trampling on the very cornerstone of our democracy and should not be rewarded under any circumstance with a judgeship on Pennsylvania’s Superior Court,” insisted Jasikoff. Green Party representative Carl Romanelli stated, “The last defense of democracy and the Constitution is the judiciary. When it is corrupted or co-opted, it represents the most significant threat to the principles that once 23 MAY, 2011

made America the grand protector of liberty. The shame and disgrace of Victor Stabile should not only be rejected by victims of his partisan decisions, but also by his peers. Romanelli, the US Senate candidate in 2006 for the Pennsylvania Green Party, www.gppa.org, has long contended that his own removal from the ballot could not have been accomplished without the aid of partisan judges. Romanelli, a retired employee of the Luzerne Co. Courts, added, “Stabile’s comments, and record in ballot-access cases, prove that both old parties are equally corrupted at the judicial level. The prevailing attitude is that anything goes in keeping other voices out of political debate and participation. Judges remain in violation of the Judicial Canons with such partisan behavior.”

THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

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Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation where judges elected in partisan elections determine which candidates may appear on the ballot,” said Oliver Hall of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Competitive Democracy. “Now that Pennsylvania courts have begun to assess costs against candidates just for defending nomination petitions that they are required by law to submit, it is more important than ever that judges demonstrate a commitment to protecting candidate and

voter rights to participate in free and equal elections – rather than the partisan interests of the judges’ campaign contributors.” The Libertarian Party, along with the Green Party and groups like the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition, Free and Equal Organization and other liberty groups in Pennsylvania, intend to make ballot access a major focus of conversation this election cycle.

Congrats Across The Aisle

STATE REP. JIM ROEBUCK, a W. Phila. Democrat, congratulated his neighbor Republican 27th Ward Leader Matt Wolfe for successful effort made by Wolfe’s faction, which is allied with Republican State Committee, in last week’s primary. The two met at Clark Park Farmers’ Market.

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THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

23 MAY, 2011


Mayor Kicks Off Huge Reentry Program Mayor Michael A. Nutter kicked off the 2011 Philadelphia Citywide Career Fair bringing together the largest gathering of resources aiding in the employment and reentry of ex-offenders and homeless individuals in the city’s history. With the support of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, the Citywide Career Fair was sponsored by Resources for Human Development, a nonprofit which provides job training to marginalized and vulnerable populations. The Citywide Career Fair brought together 67 employers and 10 service organizations, which offered resources for employment, housing, clothing and education at the Philadelphia Municipal Services Building. The Fair featured providers of resources for underserved populations seeking employment, independence and reentry into society. “Providing ex-offenders with opportunities to reenter the workforce is absolutely necessary to combat recidivism and to build a brighter future for our city. Today, more than 1,000 applicants came out, clearly demonstrating a need for these services and opportunities,” the Mayor said. “I would like to thank RHD for sponsoring

23 MAY, 2011

this job fair and helping job seekers reach their career goals.” “Reintegration into the workforce for ex-offenders is a large part of the work we do at RHD, so I was so pleased to see the number of employers, individuals and colleagues attend to work towards a shared vision of successful reintegration,” said Jennifer Arthur Lewis, corporate assistant director for RHD. Keri Salerno, director of employer engagement for Prisoner Reintegration Services, said, “Today’s event was a successful example of how the collaboration between the public, non-profit and private sectors works to assist individuals returning from incarceration to reintegrate into the workforce and community.” Resources for Human Development is a comprehensive human-services organization based in Philadelphia. Its innovative and effective programs specialize in helping people who have mental illnesses or developmental disabilities, homeless individuals and families, people rejoining society after incarceration, and people with histories of substance abuse.

THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

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Mika Shows Women How To Get What They’re Worth

FROM LEFT ARE Larry Platt, editor of Phila. Daily News; Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”; Claudia McBride, executive director of World Affairs Council, which hosted Mika for a booksigning and lecture on Friday at Loews Hotel; and former Congressman Patrick Murphy, who is running for next year’s Democratic nomination for Penna. Attorney General. Mika’s latest book, Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth uses her own experiences of under-valuing her contributions to “Morning Joe” – until her co-host, Joe Scarborough, was honest enough to show her his own contract. Then Mika learned to speak up for herself. Photo by Bonnie Squires

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THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

23 MAY, 2011


City Schools Plan A Grand SLAM For Students This Summer The School District of Philadelphia will begin registering its students on May 23 for the 2011 edition of Summer Learning And More. This summer initiative, which runs from Jul. 5-28 for most students, includes opportunities at 104 school sites around the city for children in all grades. Parents wishing to register students should contact the student’s current school. SLAM will provide students with an additional 18 days of learning to recover credits, prepare for the SATs, complete Senior Projects, and transition into new schools. The School District also plans to offer a number of enrichment opportunities for SLAM students this year in the categories of “Arts in Action”, “Science in the Summer” and “Sports Camp.” Among the SLAM Programs are: • K-8- all students K-8 are invited to attend academic instruction in the morning, and enrichment programs in the afternoon. • High School- All High School students are invited to take advantage of the opportunity to re cover credits, participate in SAT prep and Driver’s Education classes, complete Senior Projects, and take Core Curriculum classes. • 8th grade Summer Bridge: 8th graders making the transition into designated high schools in the Fall of 2011 are invited to participate in 8th Grade Bridge, a program that focuses on academic activities and orientation for students in their new schools. Registration for SLAM will close Jun. 16. For more information about SLAM, including times and locations, parents should call their child’s current school, visit www.philasd.org or call (215) 400-4000.

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Philadelphia Daily Record