Commissioners Blast State Lawmakers For Not Getting State Budget Deal Done

Jefferson County Flag LogoBROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – Concerned the months-long state budget stalemate will soon begin affecting several key county functions, the Jefferson County Commissioners September 8 blasted state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for their inability to reach a compromise.

During their meeting, commissioners James McIntyre and Jeffrey Pisarcik both said they are concerned a lack of state funds will soon begin to inhibit county services. Commissioner Paul Corbin was absent from the meeting.

“I think we’re getting close and if it goes another month it’s going to impact a lot of things. They have not really answered our questions, even when (State Rep. Cris) Dush was here as far as how it will affect pass through (accounts) for federal dollars. We have used 911 as an example, which is collected by the phone companies and is that still going to be be passed through, we don’t know because we haven’t gotten any answers,” Pisarcik said.

Pisarcik didn’t mince words when asked what he thinks needs to happen in Harrisburg.

“They need to get back to work and do their jobs. They’re getting paid to do absolutely nothing right now, and it’s very frustrating,” Pisarcik said.

McIntyre said he has had discussions with Jefferson County Fiscal Director Debby Hackett about the budget stalemate.

“It is certainly getting close to the point where it is going to have an impact. Some decisions will have to be made. It is not fair to the consumers of these services, it is not fair to the contracted providers that deliver services, and in turn it can affect their employees and could lead to layoffs. If they actually have to pursue a line of credit, that’s an interest cost they won’t be able to recoup,” McIntyre said.

McIntrye agreed with Pisarcik and said action needs to be taken soon.

“As Jeff said, it’s very frustrating to see nothing being done by both parties,” McIntyre said.

The Situation In Jefferson County

Hackett said so far the state budget standoff hasn’t significantly impacted Jefferson County’s finances or services.

“Right now it’s business as usual. If we go out a couple more weeks, I think we’re going to have to look at what payments we can possibly delay. I don’t think we’re near the point yet where we’ll need a line of credit, but in another month or so that could become reality,” Hackett said.

Pisarcik said while many county leaders are concerned for human services funding, other areas could suffer as well.

“I chair a board where by the end of the month they’ll be laying people off if it doesn’t break through, because most of what they do is state money and they have a lot of things in the works right now which will just stop,” Pisarcik said.

Both commissioners said while they hope a budget deal comes soon, they have not heard any indication that will be the case.

“We’ve heard absolutely nothing,” Pisarcik said.

“We haven’t heard anything encouraging at all, unless you want to say silence is encouraging,” McIntyre said.

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