Budget stalemate slows stimulus spending

    As Pennsylvania’s budget stalemate stretches into its fourth week, the plan to spend stimulus money on weatherization remains out in the cold.

    As Pennsylvania’s budget stalemate stretches into its fourth week, the plan to spend stimulus money on weatherization remains out in the cold. The $252 million dollars in federal funds slated to boost the state’s home energy conservation program needs legislative approval before the dollars begin to flow.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090720spstimulus.mp3]

    Forty-two nonprofits across the state are waiting for money to begin expanding their weatherization programs. Lizz Robinson directs the Energy Coordinating Agency. She’s expecting to get up to $15 million dollars over the next two and a half years, but says the soonest she’ll see that money is September.

    Robinson: The earlier the better from our point of view because the stimulus funds have a clock. The agencies administering these funds we are responsible to spend the money within that time frame.

    Statewide, the funds are expected to create at least 1000 jobs.

    The head of the state’s weatherization program says because of the delay, the state may need to channel the money to additional organizations or for-profit companies in order to meet the federal time frame for spending the money.

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