Lauren Nestler, Chief Communications Officer, Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), was in Harrisburg to testify in front of the House Human Services Committee on the significant impact of the budget impasse on PHMC, its services, programs, employees, and most importantly on the clients and communities it serves.

A survey conducted by the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations, the United Way of Pennsylvania and the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership illustrated how Pennsylvania nonprofits were financially devastated by the budget impasse. The survey revealed that 17,100 clients served by 22 organizations in all 67 counties received no services or reduced services as a result of the impasse and 135 organizations borrowed more than $171.9 million to continue operations –using cash reserves, borrowing from banks or “borrowing” from their vendors by delaying payments.

During the budget impasse, PHMC continued to provide the critical and essential services to the region’s most vulnerable citizens despite being owed approximately $59 million in payments not made by the Commonwealth and City of Philadelphia. This impasse cast a bold spotlight on fiscal and administrative burdens placed on nonprofit organizations that do quality work on behalf of government, with deep downstream impact on the citizens of Pennsylvania. As the testimony states, “This effort is not just about getting paid for the work that is done; it’s about placing the right emphasis and resources in the communities who depend on government and nonprofit partnerships for their sustainability and well-being.”

Before the state undergoes another impasse, PHMC requested that three imperative changes be done to the existing law: 1) expand the current definition of essential provider; 2) establish a system of expedited payments (most critically in the instance of the delay of a budget passing) and 3) reimburse interest accrued by nonprofits that have not received payments due to a budget impasse.

Read the full version of the testimony.