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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Counties could sue PA over budget holdup

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Nov 25, 2015 9:00 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, November 25, 2015:

So this is what it has come down to. 

The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania has directed its legal counsel to research whether counties can sue the state in an effort to force the release the state federal funds owed to the counties for essential services.

In the meantime, several counties are considering withholding millions of dollars collected in taxes normally sent to the state.

It's all in response to the state budget impasse, which is now in its fifth month.  Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican leaders in the legislature have been unable to reach agreement on a number of issues that are holding up a budget plan.

Two weeks ago, both sides said there was a framework in place, but earlier this week Wolf claimed the deal was in peril.

In the meantime, counties that rely on state and federal funding, that goes through the state, have not received any money since the start of the state's fiscal year July 1.

Counties are cutting back while social service agencies have started reducing services and hours, borrowing money, or shutting down.

Appearing on Wednesday's Smart Talk are Douglas Hill, Executive Director and Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste, Board Chairman of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania.

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Douglas Hill & Commissioner Jeff Haste

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-11-25 09:36

    Josh emails:

    The counties should withhold funds from the state and charge interest to the state for all funds dispersed by the counties to cover the operating costs usually funded by the state. If the counties can be penalized for not passing funds to the state, why can’t it work the other way around?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-11-25 09:46

    Tamara emails:

    Jeff Haste speaks the most common sense I've heard regarding this impasse. He should be our Governor! He has been a servant of the people since he was President of Class of '81 at Shippensburg University.

    What can we do as citizens to quote 'move' unquote this budget process along? Call our Reps & Senators and Governor's office daily? It seems to be such a loss cause. What can I do? Thoughts?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-11-25 10:00

    Kenneth emails:

    Take it from someone who has been around far too long, our current budget impasse at its core is more about flawed legislative process than it is about the many peripheral issues swirling about. It is not about personalities, it is not about political party, it is not about ideology, it is not even about revenue and expenditures. It is about flawed process that allows an impasse to occur.