Last week, we sent you an alert to inform you about a bill that would, if passed, punish women in recovery from drug addiction by withholding food from their families.
In short, House Bill 222 would impose a lifetime ban on benefits for people convicted of felony drug crimes. The ban is not just immoral, it’s ineffective as a deterrent. Prosecutors say refusing to give people in recovery the support to get back on their feet—and in many cases, the ability to support their children while doing so–only increases the likelihood of criminal behavior.
HB 222 also disproportionately affects women.
We asked you to take action, and many of you did by calling, emailing and sending a message to your representative and Governor Tom Wolf through our system.*
House Bill 222 was scheduled for a vote in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today. But, thanks to your messages and the work of advocates like you, the bill was taken off the fast track, and removed from the schedule.
But the future is unclear.
We remain very concerned about the possibility of this bad bill coming back for a vote. We encourage you to continue calling and emailing to urge your representatives to oppose HB 222.
We simply should not be punishing women who are attempting to rebuild their lives and re-enter their communities—and in many cases, support their children.
Thank you for your support. Your voices are making a difference.
We’ll keep you posted.
*We heard from a few people that they received an odd notice regarding their message not making it to Governor Wolf. Not everyone had this problem. To those of you who did, thank you for letting us know. We’re currently troubleshooting the issue.
-Tara Murtha, WLP Staff