York nonprofits: State is hurting us


Multiple York County nonprofit agencies issued on Friday an open letter to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and all lawmakers in Harrisburg, urging them to hunker down and work out a state budget.

"We're hurting, but also the nonprofit leaders that stand arm-in-arm to provide services to our community are suffering, too," said Louie Castriota, president and CEO of Leg Up and Able Services in East Manchester Township.

The letter was a collaborative effort between Castriota and Aaron Anderson, CEO and head of school at Logos Academy in York City. The letter's 28 signers represent a large swatch of nonprofits, from The Salvation Army York to the YWCAs in York and Hanover.

The state has been without a budget for more than four months after Wolf vetoed a GOP-crafted budget package on June 30. Since then, little headway has been made by Republicans and Democrats in reaching an agreement.

Work together: The letter doesn't take sides nor assign blame on one side or the other.

Instead it highlights the plight of nonprofit organizations, which were hit when state funding stopped being released.

"We're not pointing fingers. We're just saying things need to get done," Anderson said. "To think a government game of chicken (can potentially lead to some agencies closing their doors) is the height of irresponsibility."

Many of York's nonprofits have had to take out lines of credit, but for some, that money is running out, the letter states.

Bobbi Anne DeLeo, executive director of the York County Literacy Council in York City, said though her agency isn't greatly affected by the impasse, people who use the council's services have been. She signed the letter on their behalf.

What if: The letter also states some agencies might have to lay off workers if a budget isn't passed and some can't currently pay their bills.

That, Castriota said, could have far-reaching effects on the local and state economy.

Without workers collecting a paycheck, there's less spending at businesses, which could lead to financial hardships in the private sector. Some agencies have already had to stop paying vendors because of the lack of state funding.

"This whole economic engine is going to break down," he said.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.