Category: Budget

Legislature Approves Changes to Emergency Rental and Housing Assistance Programs as Eviction Moratorium Set to End

With the end of the national moratorium on evictions related to pandemic downturn set to end July 31, the General Assembly and governor approved measures to make it easier for counties to drive federal emergency assistance to affected renters and landlords, as well as a $350 million grant program for homeowners as the Department of...

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Funding for Hunger, Education Equity Make Gains in State Budget

As the General Assembly passed an on-time budget before recessing in late June, LAMPa celebrated a 15 percent increase in the state’s major anti-hunger programs and an extra $300 million in basic education funding, $100 million of which is targeted to the poorest schools. “Our hunger advocates did a tremendous job in sharing stories of...

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Level Up Announces Campaign for Education Funding

Level Up, a coalition of more than a dozen education advocacy organizations from across the commonwealth, launched a campaign on April 15th to increase state funding for the 100 most underfunded school districts in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania ranks 44th in the nation for state share of funding for K-12 education and has some of the nation’s widest...

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Administration Releases New Guidance for Emergency Rental Assistance Program

  The U.S. Department of the Treasury released guidelines and a new FAQ to help states and communities quickly distribute more than $25 billion in emergency rental assistance to renters in need.  The revised FAQ  directly addresses the significant flaws in the guidance issued by the previous administration. Pennsylvania’s rental assistance program, whose administration has been moved to...

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Act 1 Creates New Rental and Utility Assistance Program To Disburse Millions in Federal Aid

On Friday, Feb.  5, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law SB109, now known as Act 1,  directing more than $900 million in federal pandemic aid to struggling businesses, private schools, landlords and tenants unable to meet rent or utility bills because of economic downturn related to the failure to stop the spread of the disease. Thank you...

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Education Top Priority in Governor’s 2021 Budget Proposal

Gov. Wolf continued to place education at the forefront of his agenda with a his 2021 budget proposal in an effort to close the gaps in one of the least equitable school funding systems in the country, increase affordability of college education and job training.  The budget, outlined in an address on Feb. 3, would...

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Utility Moratorium Updates: What You Need to Know

On March 31, 2021 the utility shutoff moratorium protecting vulnerable Pennsylvanians from service termination will expire. With moratoria in place since the beginning of the pandemic, customers had been protected from losing their utility services. With many if not more Pennsylvanians still suffering from the economic downturn, the prospect of an unrenewed moratorium is daunting. When the initial moratorium began in March 2020,...

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Latest COVID-19 Relief Bill Includes Emergency Housing Provisions

The latest COVID-19 Relief Bill was signed into law on December 27, 2020. The $900 billion COVID-relief package includes housing provisions such as $25 billion in emergency rental assistance and an extension of the CDC’s federal eviction moratorium through January 31st. The relief bill will provide essential and desperately needed protections for renters, tens of...

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Commonwealth and Nation Face Housing Crisis: ELCA Congregations Respond

“God heard the cry of a homeless people and delivered them out of oppression in Egypt. Jesus, “who [had] nowhere to lay his head” (Luke 9:58), ministered with compassion to the poor and vulnerable. In practicing hospitality, we are promised to encounter the living Lord: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35). ...

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LAMPa Policy Council Sets 2021 Priorities

LAMPa’s policy council met virtually on Dec. 3, 2021, and approved the following policy priorities for 2021.  They are based on the experience of our ministries, guided by ELCA Social Statements and LAMPa’s mission: “In response to God’s love in Jesus Christ, we advocate for wise and just policies in Pennsylvania that promote the common...

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