2012 LAMPa Advocacy Summary
LAMPa advocacy takes place through direct contacts in Harrisburg and involving the LAMPa network in email and call-in advocacy, offering testimony, writing letters to the editors and district visits. The impact of LAMPa advocacy in 2012 included:
• Maintaining funding of the State Food Purchase Program, which provides vital grants to local food pantries, despite threatened cuts.
• Opposing asset tests for recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, which directly reduces hunger among low-income families. Advocacy resulted in significant increases in the asset limits, allowing more families to access food.
• Halting a predatory “payday” lending bill that would have allowed short-term interest rates up to 360% APR, despite intense lobbying from the payday loan industry.
• Restarting a successful home foreclosure prevention program by designating funds from a national state-federal mortgage settlement to fund the program for five years.
• Obtaining $8 million for affordable housing development in the State Housing Trust Fund funded by Marcellus Shale impact fees.
• Fighting for vulnerable people against the elimination of General Assistance, a small stipend to disabled adults, victims of domestic violence and others. Despite intense advocacy, the legislature eliminated the GA program.
• Reducing proposed human services cuts to homeless services, drug and alcohol treatment, child welfare, mental health and more in the state budget
• Establishing land banks that make it faster, easier and cheaper to put blighted, abandoned properties back into productive re-use to benefit communities across the state.