A new week has started, and Pennsylvania lawmakers have reported little progress on the commonwealth’s now-overdue budget.
For some nonprofits, the current situation is bringing up bad memories from last year’s nine-month impasse.
Ann Gingerich, executive director at the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations, said 135 state nonprofits had to borrow nearly $200 million to continue operating last year.
Now, many are paying interest on those loans on top of operating costs.
If there is another significant budget delay, Gingerich said, the costs may not be manageable anymore, a situation that could have repercussions for people around the commonwealth who depend on nonprofit services.
“We don’t have a lot of faith, given the last budget cycle,” Gingerich said. “So, of course, there’s concern — especially when we know that the clients that are being impacted by the services we provide may or may not be able to receive services very long into this current fiscal year.”
Last year’s funding delays compromised food programs for the elderly and services for domestic abuse victims.
“Generally speaking, these are the most vulnerable among us, and they really do need to have the services that are available,” Gingerich said.
At the Capitol in Harrisburg, caucus leaders are currently in talks about how to fund the $31.5 billion proposal the House and Senate passed last week.
So far, the only concrete funding plan has come from the House GOP, which submitted a proposal last Friday.
But a spokesman for Gov. Tom Wolf said that plan falls about $150 million short of the necessary funding. The other caucuses are searching for an alternative solution.
The governor has until midnight Monday to sign, veto, or change the spending bill passed by the House and Senate. Otherwise, the budget he called unbalanced will become law without his signature.