Lehigh Valley

Social service agencies feeling the pinch as budget impasse continues

Social service agencies feeling the pinch as budget impasse

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania's budget impasse is now nearing 60 days and the impact is starting to be felt by social service agencies.

Many social service agencies receive a portion of their budget from the government. Without at budget that isn't happening, so some are now looking to banks for their bucks.

"There is a lot of political trickery at play," said Alan Jennings, head of non-profit Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley.

Jennings was one of several non-profit heads who headed to Harrisburg's capitol rotunda to show the state the ripple effects of the budget impasse.

"In the next few days we're going to take out a line of credit for $400,000," he said.

Money, Jennings said is needed to pay bills. From homes to heating his agency, Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley helps thousands of people in need. But without a budget on the books, non-profits around the state haven't received state funds.

"At the moment it doesn't appear there's a light at the end of the tunnel to get this passed," said Republican State Rep. Joe Emrick of Northampton County.

Education funding, pension reform, and a Marcellus Shale extraction tax, are all at the forefront of the budget battle.

"I think we all want the same things, we want education that works, we want taxes to be as low as possible, we want non-profits to serve their mission," said Democrat State Rep Michael Schlossberg of Allentown.

But the long road in getting there is now jeopardizing many who can't afford to get caught in the political cross-hairs. Jennings said he plans to borrow money for as long as it takes.

"What do you do with a homeless family, tell them you're going to have to run along folks because the state doesn't pay their bills?mThat's beyond our abilities to comprehend," Jennings added.

There is federal money available for non profits but it can't be handed out until a state budget is passed.

This Week's Circulars

Lehigh Valley News

Latest From The Newsroom