Last month, state lawmakers failed to meet an annual budget deadline, and as a result, state officials are missing payments for education and human services expenses, according to reports from the Associated Press and Spotlight PA.
Special education programs and public universities, as well as daycare and preschool programs, missed tens of millions of dollars in payments in July. And it’s expected that another $1.1 billion in basic education funding for public schools will be missed this month.
Disbursals for crucial county-run programs, like food delivery for seniors and housing services, normally follow a two-month schedule, so payments for the fall are also at-risk.
“When you get into September, October, you have to start making some really tough decisions,” Lisa Schaefer, head of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, told Spotlight PA.
The budget impasse could linger through the rest of the summer. If the Senate doesn’t return on-schedule in mid-September, the state will be unable to distribute about $5.9 billion in planned state and federal funding.