DHS Secretary Advocates for Adequate Human Services Budget Funding in Lehigh County, PA

Aug 19, 2015, 14:09 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

ALLENTOWN, Pa., Aug. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, PA Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Ted Dallas visited The Resurrected Life Children's Academy in Allentown. He was joined by members of provider organizations and advocates and called for the General Assembly to provide adequate funding for human service programs in the 2015-16 budget. Governor Wolf's proposed 2015-16 budget restored funding for county human services agencies, increased funding for programs that help aging Pennsylvanians while also increasing choices for their care and supports, and provided additional funding for programs that help individuals with disabilities.

"The current budget impasse is compromising the ability of our human services providers statewide to help our state's most vulnerable," said Secretary Dallas. "Yet, these agencies know that accepting a budget that further limits their capacity and does not adequately fund their needs is not a good is a bad choice for their organizations and clients. We need continued, good faith efforts on both sides to reach a final agreement that provides the necessary funding for vital human services programming that is essential to the lives of so many Pennsylvanians."

The budget passed by the General Assembly, presented to Governor Wolf on June 30, shifts $172 million worth of payments to counties for services for abused and neglected children into the next fiscal year, which creates further budgeting issues for counties and exacerbates the structural deficit. It also underfunds health care services to Pennsylvania's most at risk citizens delivered through managed care organizations. Further, it maintains $27.9 million in cuts to county programs from the previous administration, reducing services and increasing pressure on local taxpayers.

"Meeting the commonwealth's responsibilities shouldn't be a partisan issue, but right now in Harrisburg, Republicans are making it one by not passing Governor Wolf's budget," said Jude-Laure Denis, Executive Director at P.O.W.E.R. Northeast. "The Governor's budget is a down payment on adequately funding education and restoring the social safety net for the most vulnerable among us." 

Secretary Dallas visited The Resurrected Life Children's Academy, an early learning and education center that provides children age six weeks through kindergarten with diverse educational opportunities and technology exposure, child care, nutritious meals, trips and transportation to and from local schools. The academy is a PA Key's Keystone STARS site and participates in the Allentown Health Department's Healthy Kids Healthy Allentown Initiative.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kait Gillis, 717-425-7606


SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Human Services