Alert from the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania

Alert from the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN) –

Friends

Is the Pennsylvania budget impasse affecting you or a family member?

Let your lawmakers and the Governor know!

Pennsylvania does not yet have a budget for this fiscal year that started on July 1. Negotiations are continuing. Click here for DRN’s recommendations for a final budget that fully funds disability-related services in the community.

Are you or a family member affected because there is no state budget? It is important that the General Assembly and the Governor’s Office hear from you.

Click here for your Senator and Representative.

Click here for the Governor’s Office.

Information to provide your Senator, Representative, and the Governor’s Office:

  • Your name
  • Where you live
  • If you are a person with a disability and/or a family member
  • How not having a final state budget has affected you or a family member. Have community services been denied? Have services been cut? Are you or a family member waiting for services?
  • Thank your Senator, Representative, and the Governor for working toward a final state budget that fully funds services for people with disabilities.

Thank you,

Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania Offices in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh

Rep. Frank Farina is Hosting a Senior Fair this Thursday, May 21st

Join Rep. Frank Farina for his Senior Fair this Thursday, May 21!

I would like to invite you to join me for my Senior Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Thursday, May 21st at the Dunmore Community Center, 1414 Monroe Avenue, Dunmore.

Dozens of local businesses and agencies will be there with important information for seniors.

We’ll have free health screenings and light refreshments.

Many seniors consider their health and financial well-being to be the most critical issues they face as they age. My fair will bring together a number of groups that can offer advice on many of those issues.

Among the safety issues to be aware of is elder abuse, which can be physical, emotional or even financial. You can also download a flier on senior safety produced by the Pennsylvania Attorney general.

If you are not a senior, please pass this information on to an older relative, friend or neighbor.

As always, if there is any way my staff or I may assist you, please contact me or drop by my offices at 1414 Monroe Ave., Dunmore or 423 Main St., Eynon.

Governor-elect Wolf Chooses New Appointees

Governor-elect Wolf has chosen the following talented individuals to be on his team.

Ted Dallas – secretary, Department of Human Services. Under Secretary Ted Dallas’ leadership, the Maryland Department of Human Resources reduced poverty and set state records for job placement. The department was also recognized by the federal government as one of the most efficient and highest performing states at administering food assistance, which resulted in extra funds coming to the state. Secretary Dallas was recently chosen to receive a national award from Casey Family Programs for his contributions to the child welfare field and his efforts to improve the lives of children and families.

Dr. Karen Murphy – secretary, Department of Health. Dr. Karen Murphy started her career as a nurse and worked her way up to become the chief executive officer at Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton. Dr. Murphy has extensive knowledge of the health care industry and is a proven executive who has demonstrated her ability to lead complex organizations and initiatives in both the public and private sectors. For the past two years, Dr. Murphy has led the State Innovation Models Initiative, a $900 million investment by the federal government aimed at accelerating health care innovation and transformation across the nation.

Gary Tennis – secretary, Department of Drugs and Alcohol. Secretary Gary Tennis is a nationally recognized expert in drugs and alcohol. Tennis is currently the chairman of the National Alliance on Model State Drug Laws and he serves on the Board of the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors. In June last year, Tennis received the Exceptional Leadership and Support of Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment award from the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors.

Dr. Rachel Levine – Physician General. Dr. Levine is an expert in pediatrics and psychiatry. While at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Dr. Levine led the initiation of a Division of Adolescent Medicine for the care of complex teens with medical and psychological problems. She also started the Penn State Hershey Eating Disorders Program, which offers multidisciplinary treatment for children, adolescents, and adults with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. In her role as physician general, Dr. Levine will advise the governor and secretary of the Department of Health on medical and public health-related issues.

Grayling Williams – Inspector General. Grayling Williams has served over 30 years in federal law enforcement. Following his time as director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement, Williams was the chief of internal affairs at the Baltimore City Police Department. Currently, Williams leads the Office of Professional Responsibility at the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General (OAG). At OAG, Williams created and developed an office inspection program to audit regional offices, and he implemented a new computerized system for all misconduct investigative files.

Teresa Osborne – secretary, Department of Aging. Teresa Osborne was a catalyst in the effort to enact “Peggy’s Law,” which was designed to enhance Pennsylvania’s response to elder abuse and exploitation. She also helped form a four-county, non-profit Northeast Behavioral Health Care Consortium (NBHCC), which implemented Pennsylvania’s mandatory managed care program serving over 90,000 members who receive Medical Assistance. Osborne also served on the Mayor’s Task Force on Law Enforcement & Mental Health in the City of Scranton.

StopBullying.gov Announces Important Updates to State Bullying Laws

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In December 2010, the U.S. Department of Education reviewed state laws and identified 11 key components common among many of those laws. StopBullying.gov recently updated this section of the website to include the latest law/policy information, effective as of March 2014.


Check out our website to find out the new laws in your state.

State and local lawmakers have taken action to prevent bullying and protect children. Through laws (in their state education codes and elsewhere) and model policies (that provide guidance to districts and schools), each state addresses bullying differently.

Bullying, cyberbullying, and related behaviors may be addressed in a single law or may be addressed in multiple laws. In some cases, bullying appears in the criminal code of a state that may apply to juveniles.

Updated Policies and Laws on StopBullying.gov

Make a Call for Students with Disabilities

Thanks to everyone who’s been making calls and forwarding our email blasts on the special education funding reform legislation. The efforts are starting to have an impact, but we need to make sure our voices are heard.

The Senate may take up SB 1316 as soon as members return to the Capitol on June 2, so please make a call today and urge them to support SB 1316.

PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR TODAY.

  1. Find the District office phone number and e-mail address of the your state senator here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/#address.
  2. Call their District office and leave a message, asking them to support Senate Bill 1316.

ADDITIONAL TALKING POINTS, if necessary:

  • Please support Senate Bill 1316, the special education funding and accountability reform bill. Senator Pat Browne is the lead sponsor in the Senate.
  • The current funding system for special education is broken, is unfair, and does not provide enough resources for special education in the right places.
  • I am asking you to support reform of the state funding and accountability system for special education. The school districts you represent need support for special education, and must be held accountable for results.
  • I have personal experience with how this broken system hurts children with disabilities and all students. (Describe your experience.)
  • It is disheartening to hear misleading opposition to this legislation from the leaders of the charter school advocacy community. In truth, charter schools that serve students with more significant disabilities would, under the proposed new formula, receive far greater resources to serve those students than they do under the current, flawed system. (See chart: http://www.elc-pa.org/?attachment_id=1215)