Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser

2022-23 State Budget Includes Historic Investments for Children

After months of legislative visits and phone calls advocating for a 2022-23 state budget that builds better futures for Pennsylvania children, pregnant women, and families, we are happy with the spending plan for the new fiscal year.

The budget makes historic investments in early care and education areas. After two cycles of flat funding, we are thrilled policymakers invested $15 million in the DHS budget for evidence-based home visiting to serve an additional 3,800 pregnant women, children, and families. In addition, $1 million is earmarked for the Nurse-Family Partnership line item to serve 200 more families. Voluntary, evidence-based home visiting programs help parents and others raising children access the supports necessary to address substance use disorders, develop school readiness, improve maternal and child health, promote economic self-sufficiency, and reduce abuse and neglect. Policymakers made a wise decision to diversify funding and meet families where they are in counties across the state so more parents and their children can access the research-proven benefits the home visiting models deliver.

For pre-k, the budget includes $60 million in new state funding for PA Pre-K Counts and $19 million for PA's Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program. The $79 million expansion will provide high-quality pre-k to more than 2,300 additional young learners and increase providers' rates to support the early care and education workforce and address rising costs.

We're disappointed career and technical education received only $6.1 million in the spending plan. This funding falls very short of the sustained, meaningful funding increase of $25 million PPC and our partners PACCA sought to increase access to programs and ease the local burden on school districts.

House Bill 1866 did not make it to the finish line before policymakers recessed for the summer. Sponsored by Rep. Boback, the bill would improve permanency practices for transition age youth in the foster care system. We will continue our advocacy work and hopefully get the bill passed before the end of the legislative session.

Many other components of the final spending package are worth noting, but are too many to list here.

Our budget web page has additional details!


WIC State and County Fact Sheets Available

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children helps ensure infants and toddlers, as well as pregnant and postpartum mothers, have access to healthy nutrition.

We’ve recently created fact sheets for Thriving PA for advocates that compares county and state participation in WIC. The fact sheets show total WIC participation, eligible WIC participation and the county WIC coverage rate, and other important data points. 

Learn more about Thriving PA.  


Changes to HealthChoices Physical Health Plans in PA Medicaid 

As a result of a competitive contract bidding process, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) will be changing the physical health managed care organizations available to Medicaid consumers beginning on September 1.

The next step is for Medicaid consumers to choose which health plan option is right for them and their families by August 16. While all Medicaid consumers will have the option to change their plans, approximately 500,000 people must change their plans since their current plan will no longer be available when the changes take effect in September. Note: this only impacts consumers in Medicaid, not the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Even though impacted families will not lose health coverage due to these changes, we encourage them to make their health plan decisions by the August 16 deadline. This is to avoid being automatically assigned by DHS to a plan, which may not have their current doctors or care providers in their network.

For more details, this helpful DHS toolkit includes information about important dates, a new map of the plans available by geographic zones, and frequently asked questions.


Statement on Supreme Court Roe v. Wade Decision  

Following the news that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Thriving PA released the following statement:

“Thriving PA supports access to comprehensive maternal health care services that meet individual physical and mental health needs.

“Restricting access to reproductive health care will deepen inequities and increase maternal morbidity and mortality rates. Between 2013 and 2018, pregnancy-associated deaths increased by 21%, with Black women accounting for 23% of all pregnancy-associated deaths.

“We will continue working to ensure each birthing person in Pennsylvania has equitable access to comprehensive quality health and nutrition supports.”

Learn more about the campaign’s work for perinatal health care.


Source: CDC - Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2020

  • A new report from Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families encourages states to increase their CHIP outreach funds, as nearly all are below the 10 percent cap. This includes Pennsylvania which is reportedly using less than 2 percent for public education, outreach, and consumer assistance. CCF states that these funds and resources will be especially critical to ensuring children remain covered when the continuous coverage is lifted at the end of the public health emergency.
  • President Biden signed a bipartisan gun bill into law last week, intended to prevent dangerous people from accessing firearms and increase investments in the nation’s mental health system, ending nearly three decades of gridlock in Washington over how to address gun violence in the United States.
  • Now that the Supreme Court has overruled Roe v. Wade, Vox points out families will be adding a new child in states that have made it harder for them to afford food and housing. More children could end up living in poverty, their households struggling to pay for bare necessities. Research suggests their parents will be less likely to purchase items that help with the child’s development, and they may struggle to hit early milestones compared to their peers in other states. “The end of Roe will mean more children living in poverty”

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

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences