Also for Pennsylvania, this would be a setback for the recent victory in getting the Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program back. For people who have a payday loan, it would be harder to qualify for HEMAP.
Some Pennsylvania legislators are trying to push this through even though this bill is opposed by organizations such as the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, Fight for Philly, various religious organizations and unions, credit-counseling agencies, Community Legal Services and others.
Here is a website for more information: stoppaydayloanspa.com
Philadelphia Unemployment Project
Flowers steps up
I am sure that the temptation for Christine Flowers was there (June 22) to nay-say Barack Obama's immigration executive order. Flowers often disagrees with Obama, and she does acknowledge differences ultimately with Obama's policy. The fact that she was willing to set those differences aside shows a broadness of outlook which I have appreciated in Flowers, even as I have frequently disagreed with her myself. As an immigration lawyer herself, Flowers is in a position firsthand to understand the difficulties that our vanishing middle class must face when confronted with the challenge of undocumented and unofficial immigration, as well as the challenge that immigrants face as they confront a military-level response to the trade policies that have made it impossible for South American neighbors to sustain native agriculture in the face of United States subsidies and "fair trade" policies that impoverish both of our peoples.
Let's hear it for coal
No other fuel in America is as abundant or affordable as coal. In fact, coal produces half of our nation's electricity, and Pennsylvania alone relies on coal to power 2.7 million homes and 145,000 businesses.
However, the Environmental Protection Agency has plans to force utilities to cut back on coal use. In these hard economic times, we have to be conscious of the looming potential energy crisis. If the EPA succeeds with their plans, we could see electricity prices increase by 8 percent throughout Pennsylvania.
In the coming weeks, lawmakers in Washington will move to rein in the EPA and make sure coal remains available as a reliable way to generate electricity and create jobs. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., is sponsoring legislation to do that.
Our leaders in Washington must stand strong against EPA's anti-coal regulations to allow Pennsylvania's coal industry to preserve reasonable electricity costs. I hope that Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., will pledge his vote for this legislation to support his fellow Pennsylvanians. We simply cannot afford an unnecessary price raise in our electricity bills.