Posts by chris lilienthal

Senate Approved Medicaid Expansion But It Faces Hurdle in the House

The Pennsylvania Senate on Sunday approved legislation to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. The plan faces its biggest hurdle yet today in the House, where leaders are promising not to bring it up for a vote.

Help us make Medicaid expansion a reality in Pennsylvania. Go here to email AND call your state Representative. When you call, give your name, address, and town and say: Please vote YES on Medicaid Expansion. Thank you.

Then call House Leader Mike Turzai and ask him to allow a vote on the floor. Dial 717-772-9943 and leave a message saying: I'm calling to ask that you allow the House to vote on Medicaid expansion.

As we have written often in recent months, Pennsylvania should take this federal opportunity to expand health coverage: it will create jobs, strengthen Pennsylvania’s economy, and make its citizens healthier and more financially stable.

Pa. Legislature Approves $28.375 Billion Budget

The Pennsylvania Senate voted 33-17 around 4 p.m. today to approve a $28.375 billion state budget. The House followed this evening with a party-line 111-92 vote to approve the budget, and the Governor signed it Sunday evening.

The budget adds $22.5 million in funding to the basic education subsidy line over the House proposal and $32.5 million over what Governor Corbett proposed in February. Funding for prisons is increased, and a 10% funding cut enacted last year to county human services remains.

Get a full overview here.

Related welfare, tax and school code bills may not get done until Monday or Tuesday.

Pennsylvania Moves One Step Closer to Expanding Medicaid

Pennsylvania has an unparalleled opportunity to expand Medicaid health coverage under the U.S. health reform law to between 600,000 and 800,000 hardworking low-income Pennsylvanians, lowering the state's uninsured rate by over 50%.

Time Is Running Out for Students Across PA

Passing on a great letter to the editor written by Haverford Township School Board member Lawrence A. Feinberg and published in several newspapers across the state. Share in on Facebook here.

New Poll: School Funding Top Concern for Pennsylvanians

Public school funding is a top concern among Pennsylvania voters, according to a new poll that comes as state lawmakers are debating a budget locking in nearly 85% of the classroom cuts enacted two years ago.

PA Senate to Vote on Medicaid Expansion

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports this morning that the state Senate plans to vote next week on a federal opportunity to expand Medicaid health coverage to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians.

Pa. House Budget Locks in Most of the School Funding Cuts

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is out with a new policy brief setting the record straight on some recent claims made about state education funding in the commonwealth.

Education funding was a hot topic last week when the state House debated a 2013-14 budget bill — a plan that locks in nearly 85% of the cuts to public school classrooms enacted in 2011-12.

Momentum Builds for Delaying Corporate Tax Cut

Senator Jake CormanMomentum is building in Harrisburg to delay a tax cut for profitable corporations next year in order to restore funding to public schools and other priorities in the 2013-14 budget.

Senator Jake Corman, a Republican who chairs the chamber's Appropriations Committee, is the latest lawmaker to say he would consider freezing the capital stock and franchise tax at the 2012 rate, which would raise $360 million.

Lives Are on the Line in Medicaid Expansion Debate

Cover the Commonwealth: Lives on the Line RallyThis week, hundreds of people from across Pennsylvania took the Capitol by storm to put faces to the debate over expanding Medicaid health coverage in Pennsylvania.

The "Lives on the Line" rally featured a number of speakers who talked about the stress of working full-time without health insurance. One woman named Petrina has diabetes, but her employer doesn't offer health insurance. She had to fight back tears as she talked about the struggle to control her insulin. She is understandably terrified.

Today's the Day

Today's the day. It's the start of our statewide call to action as lawmakers near the final stages of the state budget process. Hundreds of Pennsylvanians will call their state House Representative today or Tuesday to urge them to restore funding for schools and human services instead of making new tax cuts for businesses.