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Commissioners Urge Timely Passage of State Budget

The York County Board of Commissioners today called on the General Assembly and governor to ensure timely and responsible funding for County services in 2016-2017.

The move comes in coordination with the release of a County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) survey on the county impacts of the FY 2015-2016 budget impasse.

“York and many other Pennsylvania counties during last year’s budget impasse were forced to implement difficult fiscal and administrative measures to maintain services to our community,” said York County President Commissioner Susan Byrnes. “We are urging our state leaders to avoid a repeat of the situation. It’s crucial they put in place a budget that’s both timely and provides proper funding for County services.”

York County during the 2015-2016 budget impasse was forced to delay payments to many of its Human Service providers, implement a hiring freeze and take out a $20 million line of credit to maintain operations. The hard cost of the impasse to York County government was estimated at approximately $38,000, a figure that excludes substantial staff time spent responding to the situation.

Counties throughout the Commonwealth put up an average of $12.5 million in local funds – an average of 14 percent of operating budgets – to continue to provide critical services for residents, such as mental health and intellectual disabilities and children and youth services, according to CCAP. Nearly three-quarters of counties drew down on their reserves and almost one-third had to borrow funds, incurring bank fees and interest payments.

The struggles of the FY 2015-2016 budget impasse heightened an already difficult situation for counties that have faced more than a decade of stagnant state funding, Byrnes said.

The longstanding stall in funding for Human Services has forced York County to implement waiting lists for some services, Byrnes said. It also leaves the County unable to provide new services in response to changing community needs.

“Counties must be able rely on their state government to provide its share of support to address our joint responsibilities,” Byrnes said. “I join my fellow county leaders in urging the General Assembly and administration to continue to work toward a timely and appropriately funded state budget.”

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