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Losing Federal Aid, Mass. Food Banks Seek More State Money

The four nonprofit groups that stock food charities across Massachusetts are asking Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration to boost aid in the face of declining federal funds, higher food prices, and rising demand, according to the Boston Herald.

The groups, which serve hundreds of food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens, are seeking $15-million in state support in fiscal year 2013, up from $11.5-million this year.

Reductions in Department of Agriculture food aid are set to worsen with the failu…

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Welfare Cuts and High Unemployment Squeeze Calif. Safety Net

Continued welfare cutbacks in California are raising concerns among recipients who are seeing benefits reduced or eliminated while the bad economy depresses their prospects for getting off assistance and into jobs, says the Associated Press.

California has shrunk welfare payments, trimmed the period recipients can get aid from 60 to 48 months, and cut spending on job-training and education programs for people on welfare. Some Republican lawmakers have called for further cuts, saying the state ca…

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More Medicaid Cuts Loom for Deficit-Racked States

Cutbacks in care, longer waits to see doctors, and restrictions on prescriptions await Medicaid patients in the new year as cash-strapped states seek to rein in health-care costs, the Associated Press reports.

Most states have adopted or are proposing new limits on benefits and reduced payments to doctors via the federal and state program to provide medical care to the poor and disabled.

Federal aid for the $427-billion program has thus far escaped from the congressional spending and deficit bat…

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Nonprofits’ Projects on Hold as Ohio Slashes Capital Spending

Map of OhioGovernment funds that routinely helped Ohio universities, arts and recreation centers, and community and social-service groups build and renovate facilities may dry up in the coming year as the state slashes its capital budget, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Likening the financing to the federal practice of earmarking funds for favored projects, Gov. John Kasich will send a vastly reduced capital budget for the next two fiscal years to state lawmakers in early 2012.

“We’ve just survived…

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N.Y. Review Eyes Community-Development Groups’ Finances

New York’s attorney general is reviewing more than 200 local development corporations across the state amid concerns about possible nepotism and financial improprieties by some groups, the Associated Press reports.

The nonprofit organizations take on development projects and other activities for local governments but face less oversight and are not subject to audits by the state comptroller, as are government agencies.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office released details of its examinati…

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Gifts Decline to R.I. Homeless Charity After It Backs State Pension Bill

Donations to Rhode Island’s largest homelessness charity have plunged since the organization publicly backed a controversial overhaul of the state’s pension system, the Providence Journal writes.

Crossroads Rhode Island says contributions dropped by $100,000 in October and November compared with the same months last year, a decline of more than 50 percent, said Karen Santilli, the charity’s vice president for marketing and development.

Crossroads was among several nonprofit groups that backed En…

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Philanthropy’s Rescue of Calif. Parks Raises New Concerns

As nonprofit groups and other nonstate entities step up to save California parks from the budget ax, some advocates are raising concerns over recreational facilities’ long-term financial needs and the potential for misuse when they are overseen by private hands, the San Francisco Chronicle writes.

Following the passage of a state law lowering hurdles for setting up public-private parks partnerships, nine of the 70 facilities California said it would close have been rescued by foundations, philan…

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Opinion: Grant Makers Must Do More to Stave Off State Cuts to Education

Janet Harman

Editor’s Note: The following post was written by Janet Harman, president and founder of the KDK-Harman Foundation, a family foundation in Austin, Tex.

Education grant makers in Texas, as in most states, have largely avoided public-policy debates. But as state governments chisel away at spending on public education, we no longer have that luxury.

The KDK-Harman Foundation surveyed 54 representatives of education grant makers in Texas to gauge their concerns about the state’s schools….

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N.H. Family Charities Win in $3.55-Million Billing Battle

New Hampshire’s Supreme Court has ordered the state to pay $3.55-million to seven family-service charities, resolving a seven-year dispute over billing for residential child care, reports The Union Leader.

The court ruled last week that the state Division for Children, Youth, and Families ignored contractual obligations to cover rate increases for housing delinquent, abused, and other needy children in fiscal years 2004 through 2006.

Lisa Snow Wade, a lawyer for the nonprofit groups, said they a…

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Advocates for Poor Gird for Battle Over Proposed Wash. Budget Cuts

The governor has proposed cutting more than $690-million from health and human-service programs. The plan would shrink or eliminate state food and health-care subsidies, shelter programs, and support for people with disabilities, among other steps, according to The Spokesman-Review of Spokane.

Activists say poor people’s lack of political clout make such programs more vulnerable in tough budget times.

“Programs for the poor are often the first on the chopping block, because they’re an easy tar…