Hello everybody, This is a bit of a long blog but it’s important!

Today my blog will be about the budget impasse and its effects on organizations like The Arc Alliance and families they serve. Today, I have read a few articles pertaining to the budget impasse. If you did not know, Pennsylvania does not have a budget right now. If you are a typical person you may be thinking, I don’t know why I should care, it doesn’t affect me yet. However, down the road when your kid asks, why is this school program canceled or why can’t I go to physical therapy, you will have to tell them point-blank that the program is canceled and that the therapist isn’t working right now because legislators aren’t doing their job. Then you may start to worry about it.

But, for people like myself, that depend on charitable organizations like The Arc Alliance to receive services, if they are unable to support us who will? A weird thing for me is that these agencies have already provided services for months yet in many cases have not been reimbursed for those services. Many have taken on loans to keep services going with a “promise” to have help paying the interest in the future. But as I read about the Governor’s “promise” there seem to be a lot of limiting criteria nonprofits have to meet in order for that “promised” help. If the bank denies a loan, then nonprofit organizations like The Arc Alliance might be forced to reduce support or even close their doors. That would have a serious effect on me, other people with disabilities and their families in more ways than one.

Imagine if you were that boy I wrote about and you could not get your physical therapy, how would that affect your life? But for me, who also has a job at The Arc Alliance, it would mean that I would not have a job for a while. I guess I may simply stay back at school for the three days a week that I work at The Arc Alliance. That may seem like a small inconvenience, but what happens when other things start to close like our schools? When the school closes, what am I going to have to do all day? Am I just going to sit around and do nothing? How will families be able to survive then?

Even though I’m a teenager and a few days off might be nice, it would get very boring if it lasts too long. Enough from my standpoint, let’s think about the general public. In the articles that I read, it stated that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will still fund the lottery. In my opinion, if you can fund the lottery, you can fund a budget for this state. I don’t agree with the fact that Governor Tom Wolfe and the state senators and representatives are still getting a paycheck. Now, don’t you think that if they don’t see a paycheck come across their desks that would give them motivation to pass a budget quickly? Come on politicians, it’s time to stop playing your favorite game of politics and just do your job. I and the thousands of other Pennsylvanians with special needs would greatly appreciate it.

In the articles I read, the writer of the article suggested that politicians should stop going to ribbon cuttings and ceremonial events, but I disagree. I’m not sure how you feel, but I think it would be beneficial for people to give their opinions to the politicians at these events, so then they can go back to their offices in Harrisburg and be able to craft a better idea for the budget. Then they could make a better decision based on public opinion. Now, like many Americans, I don’t get overly concerned about state budget issues until it affects me, but I do worry about charitable organizations closing down or reducing their support because, people with disabilities like myself will not be able to get the proper services that are required to live their lives normally.

So, I guess in this instance, I do care about the budget. I am concerned that Scott’s going to say one day, “Sorry Chandler, we are unable to provide a job for you because of the budget impasse”. I’m also concerned that the agency that provides my nursing assistant will be affected, what will I and my family do then? I’m sure some of you out there are now thinking, “Oh my gosh, what am I going to do with my family if the budget doesn’t pass?” Don’t let it get worse, speak up and tell them you want this to end! Call, write and email them until they come to their senses!

As I stated earlier, state government is still getting paid and other people with government jobs are still collecting pay checks. If you have money to pay yourself, you need to resolve the impasse and fund the various human service programs many depend on for daily life. It’s hard to predict how much longer this can go on, but it’s been like this since July and no real action has been taken, except of course they all are still collecting their salaries! I really want to know your opinion. I would greatly appreciate it. You can also let me know what you are doing to let Harrisburg know that you demand the budget impasse to be resolved.

Thank you, see you next week. Remember, be kind to one another and it only takes one person to change the world

Chandler 🙂