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Law Center Updates

Our Letter to Wolf

Read the Law Center’s suggestions for actions Pennsylvania’s new Governor can take to improve the lives of vulnerable Pennsylvanians.

We believe there are numerous, achievable opportunities for Governor-elect Wolf and his new administration to make a real difference in the lives of people living in poverty across the Commonwealth. We outlined these opportunities in a letter we recently sent to the Governor-elect’s transition team. Click here to read the full letter.

Here is a brief run-down of our suggestions.

Education:

  1. Reframe the debate on education funding to focus on equalizing local tax burdens and therefore tax fairness.
  2. Appoint a task force to review the over identification of non-Caucasian students with disabilities.
  3. Require and fund training for school staff to provide proven services to children with autism (ABA) and dyslexia (Structured Literacy).
  4. Review the state special education mediation system to permit parents of students with disabilities to have council present.

Healthcare:

  1. Increase low income children’s access to dental care by examining whether reimbursement rates to dental providers are too low to encourage enough pediatric dentists to accept Medicaid Patients.

Public Health and Environmental Justice:

  1. Sign an Executive order on Environmental Justice that makes the environment a priority and part of the mission of all State government initiatives and requires State agencies to adopt an environmental justice strategy.
  2. End the asset test for federal food assistance programs (eligibility is limited to houses that have less than $5,500 in assets)
  3. Direct the Department of Agriculture to encourage local and sustainable food production and energy.

Housing:

  1. Develop a plan that eliminates unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities and ensures that persons with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs, close our institutions, and become fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Employment:

  1. Require the office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) to provide services to all individuals with intellectual property disabilities without requiring a minimum level of functionality assessment.
  2. Require OVR to assist individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate in community-based employment services rather than facility based service assessments.
  3. Prohibit state agencies from turning away qualified job applicants with arrest or conviction records.

Voting:

  1. Prioritize passage and implementation of online voter registration legislation.
  2. Implement in all state agencies a system akin to that used by PENNDOT to offer voter registration materials and assistance to members of the public who interact with them in compliance with the National Voter Registration Act, or the “Motor Voter” Law.
  3. Direct the Secretary of the Common Wealth to halt the certification of touch screen electronic voting machines (DRE) machines because these machines are known to be vulnerable to tampering and malfunction.

Read the full letter.

 

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