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Final Primary Election Results Near; State Legislature Begins Budget Work

Most results from the primary will be officially reported on June 8th. The delayed results are due to court challenges, required automatic recounts, and slim margins between candidates in multiple elections. All eyes were on the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, where a thin margin between Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick led to an automatic vote recount. Over the weekend, McCormick conceded to Oz, saying, "It's now clear to me, with the recount largely complete, that we have a nominee and today I called Mehmet Oz to congratulate him on his victory." Oz will face Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman in November. The recount will still go on as scheduled. In addition to the recount, McCormick and Oz's campaigns had been in court fighting over whether to count undated mail-in ballots where voters forgot to put a date on the outside envelope. The Commonwealth Court and U.S. Supreme Court have weighed in on the issue, and counties were ultimately told to count the undated ballots but set them aside from the correctly dated ballots.

Another closely watched race—between incumbent Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) and challenger Jarrett Coleman—appears to show one more long-time legislator's defeat as the Lehigh County GOP Committee agreed that the vote (in which 19 votes defeat Browne) should receive preliminary certification.

At least 11 sitting members of the General Assembly lost their primary races. With many legislators retiring at the end of 2022, a substantial freshman class will be sworn in for the 2023-24 legislative session.  

This week, the legislature is in session to begin crafting and approving the 2022-23 state budget – which is due by June 30th. While little has progressed to date on the budget front, other bills are seeing momentum. So far this week, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted on the following bills of interest to PPC: SB 1235, which would prohibit DHS from limiting CHIP MCO plans from bidding to allow for more consumer choice, and SB 522, which would create a universal lead testing requirement for young children and pregnant women. PPC supports both bills.

Also of interest, the Senate Aging and Youth Committee sunshined HB 1866 for Wednesday. A priority piece of legislation for PPC, HB 1866 would improve permanency practices for transition age youth in the foster care system.

You can follow our social media accounts to stay updated with other important legislation during this busy season.


Childhood Begins at Home Delivers Some Sage Advice

Yesterday, as part of an Early Learning PA capitol visibility event, the Childhood Begins at Home campaign delivered sage plants to every member of the General Assembly with a note, "Here's a piece of SAGE advice: voluntary, evidence-based home visiting programs strengthen PA's families."

As policymakers negotiate the final 2022-23 state budget, we urge them to provide an additional 3,800 pregnant women, young children, and their families with evidence-based home visiting services by increasing the Community-Based Family Center line item by $15 million. Childhood Begins at Home also encourages increasing the Nurse-Family Partnership line item to $1.2 million to serve 200 more families in the commonwealth.

Voluntary home visiting programs help parents and others raising children with the supports necessary to improve maternal and child health, develop school readiness, promote economic self-sufficiency, reduce abuse and neglect, and address substance use disorders.

Learn more about the Childhood Begins at Home campaign and become a supporter today.


United Way of PA Calls for State Earned Income Tax Credit 

The United Way of Pennsylvania held a rally today in the Capitol calling for the passage of legislation to create a state Earned Income Tax Credit, which would provide much-needed assistance to families struggling financially. The United Way released an economic impact study in January showing that for every $1 in cost to the state budget, a refundable EITC would generate a return of $7 from additional state and local tax income, business revenue, and reduced spending on public assistance.

PPC President & CEO Kari King spoke at the rally, emphasizing the positive impact the tax credit would have on the health and education outcomes of families with children in Pennsylvania. Other speakers included UWP President Kristen Rotz, Melissa Morgan from the National Federation of Independent Business Pennsylvania, and Dave Madsen from the Pennsylvania chapter of AFL-CIO.


*This funding is distinct from the Community-Based Family Center and Nurse Family Partnership line items in the Office of Child Development and Early Learning budget.

Source: PA Department of Human Services, Office of Medical Assistance Programs


In Case You Missed It...

  • Think of Us, an organization elevating youth voices, created The Center for Lived Experience with participatory research and community building to change policy to create a more equitable foster care system.
  • Pennsylvania's Citizen Review Panel and Youth Advisory Board released its 2021 Annual Report examining policies, procedures, and practices within the child protection system.
  • Education Law Center released Fixing the Education Funding Gap looking at how the lack of increased state investments negatively impacts students with disabilities. It recommends increased support for basic education and special education funding, including fixing the cyber charter school policy loophole.
  • Thriving PA and other organizations submitted comments to DOH on the FY 2023 State Plan for the WIC program to encourage reducing barriers to access, increasing transparency, and a streamlined administrative approach to help increase participation.
  • Child welfare professionals and providers were recognized at the state Capitol yesterday for their commitment to keeping children safe from abuse and neglect and helping to stabilize and support families.
  • California is calling for 'comprehensive reparations' for Black Americans in their state. The interim report of the first-in-the-nation California Reparations Task Force said it has documented 170 years of systemic discrimination by the state and demanded "comprehensive reparations" for those harmed by that history of government-sanctioned oppression.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
200 North Third Street 13th Floor
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
(717) 236-5680

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