Now that the dust has settled after the passage of the new state budget, officials at local government agencies and advocacy organizations are trying to make sense of the money they will receive from the state.
The $28.3 billion state budget includes about $30 million in earmarks for special projects across the state. The fiscal code attached to the state budget included two items specifically related to Delaware County.
The first is $200,000 that will go toward the creation of a pilot workforce development program called HeroesPath that will help unemployed and underemployed veterans. Secondly, the county will receive $2 million to put toward funding shortfalls it is facing with the county-owned Fair Acres Geriatric Center in Middletown.
One newspaper, The Scranton Times-Tribune
, dubbed the earmarks described in the fiscal code as "a reincarnation of the old controversial ‘walking around money,’" in an article earlier this month.
But state Rep. Bill Adolph, R-165, of Springfield, majority chairman of the state House Appropriations Committee, argued that was not the case.
"There’s no truth to that whatsoever," said Adolph during an interview. "These programs are a direct result of communication between local, county and state officials on projects that had been ongoing for the most part and as a result of lack of local and county funding, people are looking for some assistance from the state. The appropriations for all of these projects are in the general appropriations bill which is the annual budget document."
To hear more about these projects and the funding mechanisms, pick up a copy of the Daily Times tomorrow