Gov. Wolf Acts to Reform Services and Systems to Protect and Advocate for Vulnerable Pennsylvanians

first_img Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Acknowledging long-standing issues with existing state systems, Governor Tom Wolf by executive order announced that an overhaul of the state services and systems to protect the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians begins today.“Today is the beginning of a process to acknowledge Pennsylvania, over the past few decades, has failed to maintain our systems to protect and help our most vulnerable residents, and that must change,” Gov. Wolf said. “We’ve heard and seen the horror stories. Many stem from a government too eager to serve the needs of institutions and too reluctant to serve the needs of people. I am taking executive action to make changes that will stop the system from failing Pennsylvanians most in need of our protection and care. This process builds on and incorporates important reforms passed and proposed by the General Assembly, and begins what I hope to be a productive but honest conversation about how we can move forward to protect Pennsylvanians and put people first.”Governor Wolf’s “Protection of Vulnerable Populations” Executive Order establishes an Office of Advocacy and Reform, maintained by the governor’s office with an executive director that includes a new Child Advocate position and integrates the Long-term Care Ombudsman; and a Council on Reform, including 25 voting members appointed by Gov. Wolf, to support this effort by looking at protecting vulnerable populations from three perspectives: prevention and diversion, protection and intervention, and justice and support.Both the Council on Reform and the Office of Advocacy and Reform will identify reforms needed for Pennsylvania to better protect and support individuals relying upon services and assistance from the commonwealth.“I want to be clear that I am not disparaging the hardworking and frankly underpaid and underappreciated workers within this system,” Gov. Wolf said. “This is not their fault and the failures are not of their making. But we’ve had a series of incidents in our commonwealth that have revealed inadequacies in the system’s ability to protect and uplift Pennsylvanians in vulnerable situations.”The Council on Reform held its first meeting immediately following the announcement. The council is charged with reporting its findings from today’s and subsequent meetings to the governor by Nov. 1 after seeking input from various stakeholder groups.In addition, Gov. Wolf is tasking state agencies with the following directives:Pursue bold reductions in institutionalization of children and adults and transition to home- and community-based services in conjunction with reducing placements in child residential treatment facilities, nursing homes, and child congregate care settings;Institute more direct and timely referral processes to investigative authorities to reduce abuse and increase accountability for institutional bad actors;Establish Pennsylvania as a trauma-informed state to better respond to the needs of people who have had adverse childhood experiences;Issue guidance standardizing the time period to establish a plan of correction following the identification of a violation by a provider licensed by the commonwealth; verifying timely compliance with and implementation of a plan of correction; and taking licensing action against a provider that does not timely comply with a plan of correction;Use data and analysis to identify high-risk providers for additional oversight;Implement a statewide child welfare case management IT system;Launch an enterprise licensing and incident management IT system to be shared across multiple human services and health departments to increase data sharing;Use LEAN to identify opportunities for efficiency in child welfare administrative functions;Update Older Adult Protective Services mandatory reporter training;Commission a study on the financial impact to Pennsylvania due to financial exploitation of older adults; andEstablish sustainable housing and long-term services and supports for individuals exiting the corrections system with nursing facility level-of-care needs.Council of Reform members and the perspective they represent on the council include:Academic Representatives: Jennie Noll and Cindy ChristianCounty and City Official Representatives: City Council Member Cherelle Parker; Court of Common Pleas Judge Kim Berkeley-Clark; CCAP Deputy Director Brinda Penyak; Local Law Enforcement Tony Minimum; Juvenile Probation Officer Susan Claytor.Advocate Representatives: Child Advocate Kari King; Senior Advocate Bill Johnston-Walsh; Disability Advocate Nancy Murray; Victim Advocate Susan Higginbotham; LGBTQ Advocate Todd Snovel; African American Advocate David Dix; Asian American and Pacific Islander Advocate Niken Astari Carpenter; Latino Advocate Maria Teresa Donate; Women’s Advocate Randi Blackman Teplitz.Provider Representatives: Provider Association President Richard Edley; Provider Association Executive Director Diane Barber; Provider Association Executive Director Rebecca May-Cole.Health Care Representatives: Pediatrician Phil Scribrano; Geriatrician Namita Ahuja; Psychologist Stacey Rivenberg.Community Representatives: Young Adult Haundray Muir; Veteran Living with a Disability Chris Fiedler; Senior Mary Bach.In addition to governor-appointed members, Wolf Administration cabinet secretaries or their designees as non-voting members of the Council include:The Secretary of Human Services or designee – Teresa MillerThe Secretary of Health or designee – Carolyn ByrnesThe Secretary of Aging or designee – Robert TorresThe Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs or designee – Jennifer SmithThe Secretary of Education or designee – Pedro RiveraThe Secretary of Corrections or designee – George LittleThe Chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency or designee – Charles RamseyThe Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police or designee – Robert EvanchickThe Adjutant General of Pennsylvania or a designee – Mark SchindlerThe Victim Advocate or designee – Jennifer StormExecutive Director of the Juvenile Court Judges Commission or designee – Richard (Rick) Steele“In addition to the executive order I signed today and the steps by my administration, I will pursue extensive regulatory and legislative actions with input from the General Assembly,” Gov. Wolf said. “I look forward to working collaboratively with our legislators, many of whom have worked hard to advance these important issues, and to making announcements on progress with these actions in the coming months.”Read the full text of the executive order below. You can also view the executive order on Scribd and as a PDF.Executive Order- 2019-05- P… by Governor Tom Wolf on Scribd July 31, 2019 Gov. Wolf Acts to Reform Services and Systems to Protect and Advocate for Vulnerable Pennsylvanianscenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

FTT an ‘obstacle’ to Capital Markets Union, experts warn European Commission

first_imgThe financial transaction tax (FTT) proposed by a minority of European Union countries could act as a significant obstacle to the success of the Capital Markets Union (CMU), asset management and pension fund associations have warned.In responses to the European Commission’s green paper on the CMU, the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) and the Investment Association, its UK counterpart, warned that the FTT could be counter-productive and act as a potentially significant obstacle to success.Concerns were shared by the UK’s National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), which argued that it would be hard to contain the impact of the FTT to the 11 European countries that have agreed to introduce it, as the initial proposal from 2012 would have seen the fee levied when UK investors acquired shares in German or French firms.It added that two NAPF members estimated that the FTT would see increased transaction costs of €35m and €5m, respectively, although it did not disclose the size of the pension funds in question. “The NAPF accepts there is a case for tackling some aspects of market behaviour to encourage long-term responsible investment,” the organisation said in its consultation response.“But better stewardship, not a new tax, is the best way forward.”For its part, PensionsEurope had previously warned the Commission that it should avoid any measures – including the FTT – that would “lock capital in the pension funds”.The Investment Association also warned that the impact of the FTT could spill over into capital markets not participating in the levy.It said the tax would introduce “distortions in the capital markets across the EU” – counter to the purpose of a more unified CMU.EFAMA echoed the concerns, noting that the distortions would see capital flow predominantly towards countries not participating in the tax.“FTT would increase the costs for investors, as it will render EU investment funds more expensive,” it said.“It would also jeopardise long-term savings, growth and investment, as it would channel investments to products not subject to FTT.”While negotiations between the 11 participating member states have been slow to see progress, and the introduction of the FTT, the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry previously warned of the “nightmare” scenario that would occur if the joint proposal failed and saw 11 individual taxes launched.last_img read more

Researchers think theyve found a much better way to conduct the 2030

first_imgThat method might be able to identify as many as 90% of Americans, the researchers estimate. Then the Suitland, Maryland–based Census Bureau could carry out a much smaller—and presumably much cheaper—field operation in 2030 to find and count anybody it’s missed, along with any missing information about those already in the database.“In no way are we criticizing what the Census Bureau does now,” says Sallie Keller, a professor of statistics at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s Arlington campus. She and economist Jonathan Levin of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, led the JASON group that wrote a report, entitled Alternative Futures for the 2030 Census, that Census officials requested and released last fall. “But we are saying that an in-house enumeration offers a lot of possible advantages.”Pros and consThe JASON report posits that its approach is more in keeping with the constitutional mandate for apportionment, which includes providing enough demographic information on each state so that state legislatures can draw congressional districts that satisfy federal laws to ensure equal representation. “There’s nothing in the Constitution about knowing a person lives at 102 Main Street,” Keller notes. “Maybe block data would be sufficient.”The key to the JASON approach is relying on so-called administrative records. The Census Bureau already has information-sharing agreements with the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration, the report notes, and those records may tell the full story for most Americans.But “most” isn’t good enough for the decennial census. The prospect of an undercount fuels the Census Bureau’s relentless pursuit of information from those who fall outside that meritorious group called self-responders. For residents who don’t respond to the agency’s initial invitation to fill out the form, census takers might have to visit a single address half-a-dozen times in the hopes of enumerating its residents. Making things even more difficult is the possibility that the unit may be vacant.Relying on administrative records rather than a master address file would eliminate the problem of returning repeatedly to an unoccupied dwelling. But it would still leave the Census Bureau with the challenge of finding those who don’t pop up in an electronic database.“The hard-to-count people [in the traditional Census approach] are also hard to find in administrative data,” says economist Amy O’Hara, who this month joined Stanford University’s Institute for Economic Policy Research after heading the Bureau’s Center for Administrative Records Research and Applications. Even those who receive some type of federal assistance might be hard to track down if their records are incomplete, she adds, because they may not leave other electronic fingerprints such as credit cards, utility bills in their names, and other types of financial transactions.Testing neededFor those reasons, the JASON report recommends that the Census Bureau conduct a dry run to determine the thoroughness of federal records and what geographic areas and what subpopulations are most likely to be missing. It should also test “alternative ways of reaching missing populations and filling in imperfect records,” the report says. That could include the use of sensor technology that can assess population densities and citizen volunteers who can provide information about their communities.The goal is to identify outliers that warrant further analysis. “It is important to be clear that JASON is not advocating that this information replace the actual census enumeration data,” the report warns. Still, the group says the Bureau should get started now so that it can decide by 2022 what direction to take for the 2030 census.Keller says the group “didn’t have enough information” to assess the potential cost savings from a people-first approach, saying the experiments need to be done before the agency makes any reasonable estimate. But the report points to several other possible benefits.A people-first approach could be the first step toward conducting a rolling census, rather than a once-in-a-decade push. Regular updates would likely generate smaller fluctuations in the agency’s budget than under the current approach, in which costs can vary 100-fold over the 10-year cycle of the decennial census. It would also allow the Census Bureau to convert its current master address file, which must remain confidential and be used only for census purposes, into a national housing file that could be shared with other public agencies. Uses could include disaster relief, long-range planning, and various economic development activities.A revised ACSThe shift could also be a boon to the American Community Survey (ACS), the successor to the long form of the decennial census. Begun in 2005 as an annual survey of some 3.5 million households, the ACS suffers from declining response rates and the need for costly nonresponse follow-up, the report notes. “Many of the ACS questions have known answers in administrative records,” the report asserts, citing questions about the type of dwelling, age, and cost of housing units as well as questions about family income and expenses.Some members of Congress say the ACS is also a burden on the public and an invasion of their privacy. The JASON report acknowledges that criticism and notes that using administrative data might make ACS seem less intrusive because it wouldn’t need to ask residents some questions deemed sensitive. In place of those questions, the report suggests, the ACS could explore topics “not available in other data sources, such as belief and measures of subjective well-being.”Keller says that the Census Bureau is well-positioned to act on the JASON report, which complements some research already underway. And John Thompson, who stepped down last month as Census director, says the group “had some good suggestions” that are worth exploring.But whether that happens will be up to the agency’s new leadership. President Donald Trump has yet to nominate a permanent director, and right now Census officials are focused on whether Congress and the Trump administration will give them enough resources to carry out a complete and accurate 2020 census.That battle is rightly the agency’s highest priority at the moment, Keller says. “Whatever they decided to do in 2030,” she says, “this is not the time to cut [the] Census Bureau’s budget.” Money, politics, and abandoned homes: Why the 2020 Census might be in jeopardy By Jeffrey MervisJul. 25, 2017 , 3:00 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country U.S. Census Bureau The decennial census is supposed to be a tally of everybody living in the United States. But it actually starts out as a master list of addresses. That list, updated once a decade by the U.S. Census Bureau, is then used to send out an army of workers to collect basic demographic information from whoever answers the door at those addresses.The approach allows the agency to meet its constitutional requirement to provide Congress with the data needed to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. But the 2010 census also cost $12.3 billion, and future censuses that use that approach may be prohibitively expensive (see our story yesterday on issues facing the 2020 census). It also assumes that households, not people, should be the key unit of measurement. That assumption may no longer be valid in today’s more mobile and less family-centric society, say an independent group of prominent scientists that advise the U.S. government. The group, known as JASON, has proposed an alternative to starting with addresses that would use existing digital records to compile a master list of individuals. This “in-house enumeration” would be based on federal tax and employment records and then mined to answer the 10 questions on the census form. (The 2020 census will ask the name, sex, age, relationship, and race/origin of each individual at an address, as well as whether the housing unit is owned or rented, the telephone number, and an email address.)center_img Researchers think they’ve found a much better way to conduct the 2030 U.S. census Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Researchers are thinking about ways to reduce the number of face-to-face visits needed to conduct the census. 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