As PA’s budget stalemate rolls into its 70th day, essential service providers’ bank accounts are running dry.
Nonprofit organizations across the state have been forced to take out loans and postpone services as legislators argue over the budget, while many of the state’s 67 counties are now tapping into their cash reserves to run health and correctional services and to pay their employees.
Republicans have said they will attempt to pass a stop-gap budget to restore crucial funding to service providers if there is no significant progress in their budget negotiations with Gov. Tom Wolf, according to an Associated Press report.
“If there is no end in sight for the budget being done in the short term, then we will go to what options are available to send a stop-gap budget to the governor to fund important services,” Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati told Marc Levy of the AP.
With both houses of the General Assembly back in session in the next two weeks, service providers will be hoping a temporary budget can get through the process quickly. However, it remains to be seen whether Wolf would actually sign the stop-gap legislation.
“[The Governor] would prefer to work expeditiously toward a final budget agreement,” Wolf spokesman Mark Nicastre said.
With Wolf and GOP leaders stuck at a two-month-long standstill, credit rating agencies will continue to monitor negotiations in Harrisburg.