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Pennsylvania still operating without a budget

Would you go to work knowing that you aren’t getting paid until the company’s budget is passed? That is exactly what teachers in the Chester Upland School District did when the school year started. Tuesday, once again, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf rejected an attempt by Republican legislators to pass a stopgap measure that was introduced. Pennsylvania has been operating without a budget since July 1st and if Tuesday is any indication, the Governor with the legislature are nowhere near composing which means citizens of Pennsylvania are going without important service.

In Upper Darby as in many school districts, the lack of a budget is concerning to students, parents, educators and the school board.  State Representative James Santora, (R-163) stated that the stop gap that was vetoed by the Governor was a sincere attempt to help those entities that are currently going without funding. Santora stated that “Some people have attempted to degrade today’s vote by calling it a stunt. I can only assume those people aren’t aware of the impact that the impasse is having, not only on the Commonwealth, but on Delaware County.” The lack of a budget for our Commonwealth should not be a political football that is passed back and forth like a Thanksgiving turkey. Upper Darby School District is facing a $200,000 is expecting this shortfall due to budget impasse. Representative Santora talked about the need for funding for a child advocacy center that has opened in Delaware County. Those who are hurt by the budget crisis, children. There are those who will say that what the Republicans sent to Governor Wolf was only a publicity stunt to which Representative Santora said “It’s truly shameful to say that helping children who have been sexually or physically abused is a stunt.”

So what is next in the saga which is our budget crisis? The Democrats and Republicans are scheduled to talk and open negotiations on the budget but if you look statements from the Governor both sides will have to swallow some pride and do what is best for the citizens. Governor Wolf has drawn a line in sand by stating that “I want to keep the pressure up. Pennsylvanians want a budget. That’s what I want. I don’t want a stopgap.” If Wolf continues this stronghold measure, school districts, social service programs and the elderly could end up hurting even more. What can you do? You can connect the Governor’s office and let your voice be heard. Call your Pennsylvania State Representative’s office and let them know how you feel about the budget crisis. The Governor can be reached at 717-787-2500.

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Agnes Lawless Bedard

Agnes Lawless author and journalist , believes that one person can start the tides of change. Involved in her community, Agnes volunteers her time in her non-profit agency, Connect and Nourish, which feeds homeless men and women, (some are our own Veterans), works to ensure voting integrity at her local polling places and is an advocate for her neighborhood. Agnes is a wife, mother and grandmother who still believes that the strength of this country is its families.

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