We are now almost a month into the state budget stalemate, with no movement out of Harrisburg indicating when a new budget may be approved.
For county governments, nonprofit agencies and others who depend on state money, they’re keeping a close eye on their own budgets.
“Counties know this because they’ve been through this before with budget impasses, same with non-profits.”
Late last week, State Representative Bryan Cutler discussed the impact of the state budget impasse.
Cutler, a Republican, blames the Democrats for the delay in a new budget, and, not surprisingly, Democrats in Harrisburg blame the Republicans.
Neither side seems to think the budget issue will be resolved within the next few weeks.
So, what does that mean for county governments, especially their social services offices that rely heavily on state funding?
“As mentioned before, during the last budget impasse, Centre County government made it about six months before it finally ran out of money. But there are other counties where they may run out in two or three months.”
Cutler says some state payments will continue for what he terms public health and safety items.
“Corrections is one, technically treasury could probably withhold corrections, but I would say it’s a public safety and constitutional issue. You got to feed prisoners, you got to take care of them.”
New state budget delays are not unusual in Pennsylvania. In fact, in 2015, it was nine months of debate into the next year before a new budget was in place.