Services for Low-Income Pennsylvanians to Continue with Budget Impasse

HARRISBURG – Gov. Edward G. Rendell is working to adopt a budget that requires no broad based tax increases, provides sufficient resources to ensure that Pennsylvania continues to improve its public schools, offers high quality child care, helps Pennsylvanians get good jobs and helps our companies grow, but the Department of Public Welfare, forced by the federal government to classify state employees in the event of budget impasses, said 1,900 of its 19,000 employees will be furloughed Monday  under a budget impasse.

DPW Secretary Estelle B. Richman said, however, services for low-income Pennsylvanians will continue without interruption.

“Pennsylvania families depend on department programs and services to provide for the health, safety and welfare of their loved ones,” said Secretary Richman. “I want to ensure each and every one of those individuals and their families that the necessary steps to guarantee all services the federal mandated furlough does not impact, including Medical Assistance, food stamps and cash assistance, will be unaffected.”

The department’s employees who will continue to work are vital to the health and safety of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens, including those employed at state-operated mental health hospitals, mental retardation centers, youth development centers and youth forestry camps.

County assistance offices statewide will remain operational, offering services to low-income individuals and families. Caseworkers will be available during normal business hours to help determine eligibility and provide program and service information.

In addition, the department will continue to perform licensing inspections for adult personal care homes, child care and mental health, mental retardation and children and youth residential treatment facilities should a budget impasse occur.

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