Cambria County Budget
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The State's budget remains unbalanced. After nearly three months of arguing the commonwealth's general fund hit zero Friday as it already led to consequences for the state. The Governor announced his plan Today if an agreement isn't reached soon. The states credit rating was lowered today by Standard & Poor's, something the Governor said he's warned about for months. Now he says if an agreement isn't reached soon, he'll have to take further measures to manage the issue. The Governor and the senate have been at odds about how to fully fund the budget. The commonwealth general fund at zero with almost $1.2 billion owed to medicaid insurers and half a billion owed in pension obligations to school districts. The Governor says so far he had to cut about $1.7 million in services because of the stalemate. Today, again the senate voted 47-3 to not take up a house budget. The Governor is hopeful a decision will soon be made. "The action is the two chambers of the legislature need to act and get together on a revenue proposal which I think they are doing." Meanwhile, we caught up with State Representative Frank Burns to get his input. He calls the credit downgrade unfortunate but hopes the senate and Governor can find a way to hash out a deal soon. "I'm hoping once we get a budget deal, we can get the credit rating resolved. I've talked to several financial advisors about this and what that means, and because interest rates are so low, it doesn't have the devastating effect that one would think. Our hope is that we can get this resolved and move forward." State treasurer Joseph Torsella releasing his own statement Today. He said under the current situation he has no plans to authorize a loan to help. He says his obligation as treasurer is to only make what he calls prudent investments, not to help continued budgetary dysfunction. He said by continually lending taxpayer money, it allows policy makers to take their time and avoiding resolving the state's fiscal challenges and the treasurer said the disruption was and remains avoidable. The can has been kicked down the road to far and we have run out of road. He urges the general assembly to finish the work and enact a responsible package in the next 72 hours. He said to expect a further announcement this week. Again, it remains unknown when the house and senate will get a plan passed.