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Budget Impasse Continues To Take Toll On Many

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Entering its twelfth week, the failure of Governor Wolf and the Republican-controlled state legislature to reach a budget agreement is beginning to take a toll -- especially with social service agencies.

"We have hopefully another month that we can get through. After that, it's going to be a problem," says Andrew Cheeseboro, CEO of Small Seeds Development.

Small Seeds Development assists 1,400 families in Allegheny County with at-risk children, and it counts on the state to funnel federal money to county governments to keep working.

"We work in homes, we work in family courts, we work in school districts, we work in the community," Cheeseboro told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Thursday.

The state budget impasse has already impacted agencies like Justice Works which has run out of money to pay its employees.

"The only way I was able to do it was to take a loan from my own personal retirement account," said Dan Heit, CEO of Justice Works that operates in 32 counties.

School districts, that usually get a monthly check from Harrisburg, will soon feel the pinch of missing funds when the September check doesn't arrive by the end of the month after missing a July and August check.

"Now as we begin the school year, it becomes even more of a challenge when districts will not receive their subsidy funds," noted Dr. Linda Hippert, a former superintendent and CEO of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.

And if you're a college student counting on a grant or loan from PHEAA, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, "We cannot disburse any funds until we receive those funds as appropriated by the General Assembly," said Keith New, PHEAA spokesperson.

The good news, at least for now, is that most universities are not kicking students out, knowing the state is good for the money -- eventually.

And the failure of the politicians to reach a deal also takes a toll on their standing.

"I think it has impacted everybody's trust. I think people are really tired of all this," said Allyson Lyon of Wilkins.

"I don't think they should be arguing and raising Cain. They should all be getting together," added Carol Lee of Wilkinsburg.

"Instead of doing what your party requires, how about doing what your heart says is right to do," noted Craig Lyon of Wilkins.

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