Dauphin County commissioners rip state over budget

Written by Ben Allen | Dec 21, 2015 3:49 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke

(Harrisburg) -- The state budget crisis is starting to impact the state Capitol's home county.

Dauphin County says it will have to borrow up to $20 million next month if a budget deal isn't reached soon.

Dauphin County Commissioners are angry.

Furious, even.

"Just imagine what would happen if we played the same game that they're playing. People would be up in arms. They'd be here with pitchforks coming after us. But up there, it seems to be business as usual," says Commissioner Mike Pries.

"They want us to take and either not fund mental health, not fund children and youth," adds Commissioner Jeff Haste.

"They're asking us basically to let one homeless person freeze to death, luckily it's not been that cold yet, one child die or one more child get abused this week.

County commissioners say they'll get through the next round of paychecks, but in January, they'll have to borrow up to $20 million.

With interest and other fees, the figures could include add tens of thousands of dollars to the county's budget.

The county's already run through most of its surplus.

So far, it's short $28 million in state money, as lawmakers and Governor Tom Wolf continue to fight over a budget that is nearly six months late.

Commissioners even warned they might have to change to the county's approved budget if a state spending plan isn't in place soon.

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