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.

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.