Disability Rights Pennsylvania is ready to set legal and advocacy priorities for fiscal year (FY) 2018. Congress provides Disability Rights Pennsylvania with seven (7) different federal grant programs to protect and advocate for individuals with all disabilities. Congress permits the organization to set priorities to narrow the scope of its work because these resources are not enough to serve everyone in Pennsylvania with a disability.
The organization solicits public input to help guide its priorities. Comments from the public are forwarded to the organization's Board of Directors and Mental Health Advisory Council for review and consideration. The Board of Directors for Disability Rights Pennsylvania provides final review and approval of the priorities.
The deadline for public input is Monday, August 21, 2017.
Click here to submit your comments online.
Photo by Aliis Sinisalu on Unsplash
The National Association for the Dually Diagnosed (NADD) presents five awards annually, at the NADD Annual Conference, which this year will be in Charlotte, North Carolina, November 1-3, 2017. The deadline for submitting nominations for these awards is August 31. Click each award for details on criteria and submission information.
Today, Governor Tom Wolf released the following statement on his intention to allow House Bill 218 to become law without his signature:
“In February, I proposed a budget that balanced by implementing more than $2 billion in cuts, savings, and efficiencies and closing $1 billion in loopholes. For the past several months, Democrats and Republicans have had a robust conversation about our fiscal challenges. We worked in a bipartisan way to reform our pension system to protect taxpayers and employees, and set the commonwealth on a more responsible fiscal path.
“Working with both parties in the legislature, we passed a general appropriations bill that streamlined government by making more than $2 billion in cuts, invested more money in education at all levels, and continued our efforts to fight the heroin crisis.
“This budget invests $175 million in our schools, helps Pennsylvanians who need it the most like those with intellectual disabilities, and invests in key programs to create manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania, while allowing the commonwealth to team up with businesses and institutions of higher learning to create jobs and a strong workforce.
“And today, I am going to let this general appropriations bill become law without my signature in the hope that we can continue to work together on a sustainable budget solution that sets Pennsylvania on the right path.
“Just last week, we received a warning that if we did not do the hard work to balance our budget, Pennsylvania’s credit would be downgraded. This independent call to action made it clear we must avoid gimmicks to protect from a downgrade, as we have been able to do since I took office.
“As with pensions, many of the people currently in Harrisburg did not create this problem, but we must face this challenge and address it in a responsible way.
“In the coming days, it is my hope that the General Assembly will come together to pass a responsible solution to balance our books. There are many options available to balance the budget in the long-term like those I presented earlier this year. Our creditors and the people of Pennsylvania understand a responsible resolution must take real and necessary steps to improve Pennsylvania’s fiscal future.”
The PA ABLE Savings Program (PA ABLE) is a savings plan for people with disabilities, available through the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, and gives individuals with qualifying disabilities a tax-advantaged way to save or invest without impacting their government benefits. All federal benefits are protected, including Medical Assistance (Medicaid) and, with some limitations, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, as are many Pennsylvania benefits.
A PA ABLE account provides people with disabilities an opportunity to save money while maintaining their benefits, allows family and friends to easily contribute, and can also be used for everyday expenses.
Qualified disability expenses include:
PA ABLE accounts are extraordinarily flexible in their ability to grow savings, while allowing account owners to spend money on everyday expenses.
To learn more about qualified expenses and read FAQs, visit PA ABLE.
Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash
Pennsylvania has launched its third statewide art contest for artists with a disability, Art: the Universal Language. This year’s theme will be Visions of Pennsylvania.
Artists of all ages are encouraged to share their vision and interpretation of Pennsylvania, whether they show their rendering of its natural beauty, city streets, its people, or any other aspect of the commonwealth.
Artists can submit images of their paintings, drawings, photos, 3-D items, or multi-media pieces. A team of judges will choose winners based on originality, imagination, visual interest, and skillful use of materials.
The art contest is a collaboration between the Department of Human Services (DHS), The Arc of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association, Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.