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LETTER: Budget stalemate threatens Pa.'s most vulnerable
The stalemate between the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the governor, if not resolved quickly, could have real and long-lasting effects on health and human service providers who depend on state funding to protect the health and welfare of the individuals they serve throughout the commonwealth.
An extended budget impasse will reduce a provider's ability to effectively make important programmatic and capital investment decisions; providers may have to approve their budgets without knowing state aid amounts, a major source of their funding. Without funding, providers may have insufficient cash balances to provide services to clients, pay staff and to pay day-to-day expenses.
In most instances, when there are state funding delays, providers have to draw against their lines of credit, which triggers additional interest costs; according to some of our members, they are still paying on interest from the last late state budget. In today's tough economic environment, providers are not as financially strong as they were the last time the commonwealth had a late budget, so they will have more difficulties staying solvent.
The Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association and its members are hopeful the differences can be resolved quickly. Without a quick solution, the most vulnerable members of our communities who rely on human service programs will not receive the quality services our members provide.
RICHARD S. EDLEY
President and CEO
Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association