HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Counties across Pennsylvania are preparing to go without payments for some state-funded social service programs as the state budget stalemate reaches week three.
Mandated by the Commonwealth, counties allocate state dollars towards programs for things like substance abuse, child services and mental health programs.
“How do you say to someone who needs mental health counseling, ‘oh, sorry, we’re out of money?’ That’s not a good answer,” Cumberland County Commissioner Jean Foschi said. “I’m frustrated.”
Counties, like Cumberland, have money in rainy day funds that could help offset the impasse, but those reserves are seldom used to fund social service programs.
If a state budget agreement is not reached by the fall, Mifflin County Commissioner Robert Postal said non-essential services may need to be cut.
“It’s not an emergency situation yet, but that doesn’t mean that I’m implying that the budget shouldn’t be passed fast,” Postal said.
Mifflin County said a worst case scenario situation would mean cutting essential services, though that’s not a possibility at the moment.
“Please get to work. Please get to work and get this done,” Foschi said. “The money is there. It just needs to go to the people that deserve it.”