So it’s been a week since my last post. One might hypothesize that I’ve been relaxing in the glow of my writer’s indulgences, and I sure wish that had been it.
Instead, I’ve been working. For nothing.
But I’m not alone in that. All across the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania people are working every day, and not getting paid. Into the third month of the Pennsylvania budget crisis, it’s starting to hit the fan, my friends.
I remember budget holdups in recent years, and how you’d hear about this program or that getting a ding, but this time around, with the federal economic issues on top of the state folk running around yelling “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” things just aren’t happening.
The crunch is hitting everyone. I have clients who have pulled out because they aren’t getting paid. My daughter just got her day care license, got it all up and running two weeks before the funding got put on hold for the program that paid her 2/3 of her income. I get county checks each month for the appointed cases I have–no pay. But I have to appear at scheduled court dates anyway. We’re required. Foster parents–no pay. Student grants for kids starting in September– no pay. Service providers–no pay. Anyone who has a contract with a county agency–no pay. No pay. For three months so far and no end in sight.
Lenders and creditors are, of course, aware of the situation, but they’re all hurting from people hit by the first economic wave. It sure makes them a little nervous when you can’t send in a mortgage payment. Explaining that you may be able to send in three when your check finally does come through– not so priceless.
Of course, the legislators made sure to vote their OWN pay in, first thing. So they can sit down in Harrisburg and take their time because they’re not losing their homes and their incomes. Ridiculous! I vote that they have to share their pay among the constituents in their districts. Make them have something at stake! I’m not alone on this one, apparently.
So meanwhile we juggle and pray a lot. I know there are a lot of folk worse off than I am, and I hope they get help soon. But sadly, this is a case of who’s going to help the helpers?