Pennsylvanians have been waiting 145 days for a state budget. 145 days is ridiculous. RIDICULOUS. As a small non-profit in local arts agency in a rural setting I'm often asked how the impasse impacts my organization- up to this point I've tried my best to remain polite about the subject. I've answered "we're not hit as hard as others, but it's taking a toll on our operations, we should be ok."
The negative impact of this impasse has a terrible negative economic ripple effect in on our communities. And it is placing an unnecessary strain on non-profits of all types, health and human service organizations, schools, libraries and countless cornerstones of our communities. Organizations are forced to steer away from their mission and look at radical measures such as laying off employees, pushing out payment on services, extending lines of credit while incurring interest costs in order to continue providing vital services in our communities. For some organizations the a fore mentioned measures are not enough and they've been forced to close their doors. With all of these realities surrounding me and seeing no end in sight for this budget stalemate I can no longer continue to answer the question politely.
So how does this impasse really impact my organization? Plain and simple, I can't do my job. And I'm mad about it. The inability to perform your job functions (when it is not of your own doing) is extremely frustrating. I've lost my two part time staff and I can't re-hire until there is a budget in place. I still have a commitment to the constituents of my community so I'm spinning wheels trying to find extra time advocating for a state budget. I want to do my job. I want to facilitate art residencies in schools, so we can continue to provide educational experiences that create the smart thinking citizens of our future. I want to re-grant funds to arts projects and programs across my region so that they can do their jobs in creating the vital communities of this commonwealth. I want to stop paying interest on a line of credit and worrying about cash flow that is dependent on a budget that should have been passed 145 days ago. I want to remove the "End the Impasse" posters that have been hanging in my gallery windows (instead of art) since day 80 of the impasse. I want to stop asking elected officials to do their job so I can get back to doing mine.
Today Pennsylvanians are standing together asking for a final responsible budget, when will our elected officials stand together and provide us with one?
Annually ECCOTA re-grants over $50,000 to arts projects and programs in 7 counties and $30,000 in arts in education residencies to schools and non-profit organizations across 5 counties. These funds are made available through re-granting partnerships provided by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Until a budget is passed none of these funds can be re-granted into our communities, causing a negative economic impact on 7 counties.
100% of Pennsylvanians benefit from the work of PA nonprofits.
#PaNpImpact #PAPassABudget #StandForPA