County commissioners were confident Tuesday that Harrisburg lawmakers would have a budget completed in time, avoiding a future impasse.
Chairman Michael Pipe said, financially, the county is in good shape having received more than $20 million in tax revenue so far. Commissioners are, however, keeping an eye on the fourth-quarter Children and Youth Services rebalancing action.
Due to the Harrisburg-led rebalancing, Centre County has not yet received funding for the CYS for the quarter dating April-June 2015. To date, legislators have not indicated if that money will ever be reimbursed.
“The recent action was extremely critical for the biggest employer in the county — Penn State,” Vice Chairman Mark Higgins said. “We appreciate that.”
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The budget stalemate had pushed the university to the point of possible layoffs to agricultural staff, including cuts to Penn State Extension across the state and 4-H programs. Penn State will see a 5 percent boost in its general support appropriation, from $214.1 million to $224.8 million.
In preparing for the next budget due in July, Pipe said he didn’t want to take the county too far down the path of taking precautions if there is a likelihood that negotiations will wrap in June. Having gone through the experience last year, he said, the commissioners are willing and able to take a closer look by May or June.
“You’ll remember we passed a resolution that we never want to experience what we experienced last year,” Pipe said. “My true hope is that we’re going to have a budget by July 1.”