Sunday, August 2, 2015

3 Philadelphians and advocacy groups challenge state's elimination of general assistance

Three Philadelphians with disabilities and multiple advocacy organizations have filed a lawsuit in Commonwealth Court today challenging Gov. Corbett's elimination of the state-funded $149 million general cash assistance program.

3 Philadelphians and advocacy groups challenge state's elimination of general assistance

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Three Philadelphians with disabilities and multiple advocacy organizations have filed a lawsuit in Commonwealth Court today challenging Gov. Corbett's elimination of the state-funded $149 million general cash assistance program.

The plaintiffs in the case --Billie Washington, 52, Tina Smith, 36, Opal Gibson, 58, and various organizations are calling for a preliminary injunction to stop implementation of and quash Act 80 which eliminated general assistance on July 31 and created a pilot block program that combined funding for several human-service programs in the state budget and gave counties the ability to allocate funding.  The plaintiffs argue the measure violates the state Constitution.

The general cash assistance program  provided 68,000 Pennsylvanians including 35,000 Philadelphians --who are disabled and sick adults without children, victims of domestic-violence and adults in drug-and-alcohol-treatment programs --with $205 a month for basic necessities.

Read the lawsuit here.

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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