We’re On Our Way

Senate Bill 850, “An Act to provide from the General Fund for the expenses of (the state)”, is on its way to the governor.  Three legislators voted against the bill — Representatives Steve Santarsiero, Dennis O’Brien, and Paul Drucker.  Rumors of a fourth are rumbling, but the bill passed by an overwhelming margin.  The threat of angry voters promising to vote against every incumbent has apparently been felt.

You can see how your legislator voted by clicking here:  SB 850

In a related note, I’ve had my hands full this past weekend, so the updates have been slow.  I’ll attempt to resume this week.

31 thoughts on “We’re On Our Way”

  1. Estimates on arrival of pay into your account vary from 3-10 days. WHY??? THE PAYROLL IS DONE, THE BOOKS ARE COOKED RELEASE THE MONEY. e transfers are almost instantaneous, direct deposit doesn’t require time to be “mailed” so why the hold up?

  2. Irene, they have release the already run payroll to Treasury to do the treasury run…which funds it and typically drives the dollars to the correct set of books/budget…then the eft interfaces/check interfaces must run. Typically those processes are not all back to back in case something fails though they could be.

    But I DO agree with your point and was wondering the same thing myself. A scenario to support it is this: If you file for unemployment on Sunday, it is funded/approved on Monday, clears whatever treasury processing and is direct deposited on Wednesday. 3 days start to end unless something holds up the release process.

  3. Please pass this information on to anyone who you feel is in need. I spent my lunch hour calling various places in Washington, Greene & Fayette County to make sure that people get the help that is needed.

    I know many have not heard back about food stamps and even if they do approve a budget or temporary budget, it will still take several days for any money to come in. I hope this helps.

    I also emailed a few agencies and their replies are below.

    Greene County:

    Catholic Charities:
    724 627 6410
    72 East High St
    Waynesburg, Pa. 15370
    9 – 5

    They will assist with diapers and formula for children 1 or under. If they do not have the formula in stock, they will attempt to get you a voucher. They allow one dozen diapers and 2 cans of concentrate formula or 1 can of the powder formula PER parent. If both biological parents go together, they will give one set to each parent. When I spoke to Janice at this office, she told me she was going to attempt to get approval to double the amount for state employees because of the situation. This is only good for one visit.

    This is also available to pregnant women. They can have up to 12 visits if they come prior to the baby being born. MAKE SURE YOU TELL THEM YOU ARE A STATE EMPLOYEE!

    Salvation Army:
    724 852 1479
    131 West First St
    Waynesburg Pa. 15370

    They have diapers and some formula. They can possibly get vouchers for any formula that they do no currently have in stock. Emergency food as well as assistance with any utilities that you may get termination notices on. The utilities can’t be behind prior to July. Bring the bill in with you.

    Bring with you: Proof of income, Proof of residence (utility bill is ok for this), current identification.

    Washington City Mission
    Dear Sir,
    If you could please fax a copy of their needs with their name to the mission “attention” Rhonda? The fax number is 724-222-3510. The phone number is 724-222-8530 my extension is 224. They can come in anytime between 8-4 PM M-F. Just ask for Rhonda. If there is anything else they need please include it on the fax. Thank you, Rhonda

    WIC

    Hi,

    Thanks for writing. When the budget stalemate began we were told not to add state employees to WIC; but that was very quickly reversed and we are now able to add state employees. Please have them call me ASAP and we will get them in as quickly as we can.

    Rosa

    Rosa Snyder-Boyd
    Nutrition Services Director
    Community Action Southwest
    150 West Beau Street, Suite 304
    Washington, PA 15301
    724-225-8980 x441
    fax: 724-228-8975
    rsnyderboyd@caswg.org

    Fayette County:

    Fayette Catholic Diocese of Greensburg:
    724 439 3531
    140 North Beeson Ave
    Uniontown Pa.

    If you are in need of anything for small children or are pregnant, you need to ask for the pregnancy dept.
    Financial Assistance – Press 1
    If you are in need of groceries, assistance with paying utility bills, stay on the line for an operator.

    St Vincent DePaul’s
    P.O. Box 195
    Uniontown, PA 15401
    Tel: (724) 439-4908

    70 N Mount Vernon Ave, Uniontown – (724) 439-9188

    1023 Main St, Republic – (724) 246-0910

    125 Saint Vincent Depaul Rd, Connellsville – (724) 626-2792

    They will give you @ $80 in formula. If they do not have it in stock, they will give you a voucher for a local store.

    Emergency Assistance ( From Their web site).
    When people find themselves in an unusual situation and need the basics of food, clothing and other assistance the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul provides immediate assistance in the form of bags of food and/or clothing. Assistance that we are unable to provide from our facility, we secure from partnerships that we have developed among the business community.

    Vincentians (volunteers from the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul) meet with those in need to ascertain their full needs and provide assistance as available. At times, we partner with other human service providers to fill the gap in resources that one agency might lack in meeting the individual’s needs.

    Other than utility assistance, an appointment is not needed to meet with the Vincentians for assistance. However, assistance is on first come first served basis Monday through Saturday, 12:30 P.M. to 2:30 P.M. Assistance is offered at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store at 70 N. Mt. Vernon Ave Uniontown, PA 15401. For more information call (724) 439-9188 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.

    Washington County:

    Washington County Catholic Charities:
    724 228 7722
    Age Requirements: Age one or under or you are expecting
    They give out diapers, diaper wipes, formula, counseling – No utilities

    No appointment necessary – Walk ins welcome

    Genesis:

    724 225 6494
    M-Th 9:30 – 4:30 Fri 7 Sat hours vary. Call ahead for times.

    Diapers, clothing, baby equipment, formula. No age limit.

    Takes 75 min to sign up if you have not visited through your pregnancy.

    Washington City Mission

    Dear Sir,

    If you could please fax a copy of their needs with their name to the mission “attention” Rhonda? The fax number is 724-222-3510. The phone number is 724-222-8530 my extension is 224. They can come in anytime between 8-4 PM M-F. Just ask for Rhonda. If there is anything else they need please include it on the fax. Thank you, Rhonda

    WIC

    Hi ,

    Thanks for writing. When the budget stalemate began we were told not to add state employees to WIC; but that was very quickly reversed and we are now able to add state employees. Please have them call me ASAP and we will get them in as quickly as we can.

    Rosa

    Rosa Snyder-Boyd
    Nutrition Services Director
    Community Action Southwest
    150 West Beau Street, Suite 304
    Washington, PA 15301
    724-225-8980 x441
    fax: 724-228-8975
    rsnyderboyd@caswg.org

  4. Why is he waiting until tomorrow morning to sign the bill??? Aren’t we still on the clock since this mess started….does he need a pen or an audience?? Hell we can give him all of that an more…

    Get the lead out already, SHOW ME THE MONEY !!!!

  5. Just feel like I have to vent, so I decided to find contact information for the 3 legislators (above) who voted no to SB850. I started with Paul Drucker and will be doing the same for the other two. Here’s a link to Drucker’s website:
    http://www.votepauldrucker.com/

    Just thought I’d copy & paste the letter I just finished writing to him…..(see below).

    “As a Commonwealth employee, I would like to thank you for your “no” vote on SB850. Perhaps you could take the time to explain to me (and to 76,999 of my co-workers) your motivation in voting against this bill. I work for the Dept. of Welfare and have devoted 23 years of service to the citizens of Pennsylvania who are in need of the programs we offer. Because of the recession we are experiencing, my caseload has become overwhelmingly stressful, and yet I arrive at my workplace everyday committed to giving 7.5 hours of hard work to do what I am paid to do. When I am given deadlines, I most certainly must fulfill them. You, and your fellow legislators, have once again dropped the ball in your commitment to the people of this state who have APPOINTED you to do YOUR job within the time frames you have been given. Although I do not personally reside in your district, I hope you are prepared to explain to your constituents why you voted no to SB850, and why specifically the legislature has put our citizens in a position (by not meeting your July 1 deadline) that this bill was even necessary. This entire budget impasse fiasco has, if nothing else, EDUCATED the voters of Pennsylvania as to the true character of the officials we put our trust in. With this newfound education to empower us, how confident are you that you (and your fellow legislators) will pass the test on election day?”

  6. Floor9, I was watching the debate and vote. It was Representative Kirkland who was the 4th nay vote if I am not mistaken. He said something after the vote that his voting button had malfunctioned and his vote was supposed to be negative…Anyway, if I recognized him correctly it was Thaddeus Kirkland. I could be wrong so people should check what his vote was.

  7. Am I wrong in believing the house is getting a per diem pay of @ $150 per day? Tim Solobay out of Washington County is telling me they haven’t received a paycheck since June 1st but that it has only been a couple of weeks for the state employee’s. He also is attempting to say that the Unions have been assisting their members. I have asked him which ones because I know that in our area PSCOA and AFSCME have not helped anyone.

  8. I am still not satisfied until I get my paycheck. I do not understand why it would take until next week to get this paycheck when I check my ESS paystatement everything is already there ?

  9. State Workers Could Be Paid Soon

    KDKA – Channel 2 out of Pittsburgh

    State lawmakers have completed a maneuver that will allow state workers to get paid while the budget stalemate drags on.

    The stopgap bill was sent to Gov. Ed Rendell.

    He could sign it as early as Wednesday.

    Checks for back-pay could go out within a week.

  10. Finally.. they posted the story on PennLive.. A little slow with it!.. Sorry about the posting I did earlier and stated it was signed at 6 p.m… Wishful thinking I guess on someone’s part..

  11. Jimbeam…ESS shows the payroll run as having been completed. And that’s good because that’s half the battle. However, the whole Treasury run must be done yet…the other half of the process. Now why the process takes a week I certainly could not say. But. And I’m with all of you…Show me my money!

  12. The house has not gotten paid as workers have not. However, IF they are going to Harrisburg and in attendance at the time of the Roll Call (whether anything is actually accomplished or not) they get to put in for per diem…and if over a certain distance (50 miles maybe?) it is like $158 day tax free. Presumably this is to cover overnight stay, gas, food etc. Like travel and living expenses. I’ve heard motels in the Capital are pretty inexpensive…and it’s pretty easy to have lobbyists buy your dinner…though I imagine even that gets wearying after a while….

    Legislators have the option of putting in for per diems or not. I believe the Senate Maj Leader told the Senators not to bother putting in for per diems bc they would not be approved during the impasse…but I am not sure why I say that. I think I read it somewhere in the details of a news report somewhere….but I could be imagining things.

    BTW, the state legislators are paid monthly. Their paycheck was due on July 1. For July I guess since they didn’t get it.

  13. Back in early summer when house bill SB850 was introduced, DCNR’s budget was so reduced that it was estimated that 35 state parks would have to be closed. Since this was passed as a stop gap for us to recieve our long overdue paychecks, is it still possible that this could also effect DCNR’s budget and these state parks could be closed?

  14. Robin thanks for the info..having no idea how the system was set up it’s hard to see why it takes so long for e transfers of funds. It’s just so frustrating cuz as soon as creditors see a budget is passed they will be demanding their payments.

  15. Irene…I’m not sure precisely how the State’s payroll system is set up…but what I’ve described is pretty universally how payroll and treasury systems interact. A whole lot of approvals, programs to execute and interfaces must run to get the job done and it’s distinctly two separate processes. Payroll processing the bailiwick of HR and Treasury the bailiwick of the CFO’s organization.

  16. I heard from a friend that they have to go into payroll and change all of the codes from LWOP to what would normally be in there and it takes considerable time to do all of them. But I am amazed that the Democrats got paid yesterday.

  17. Good Afernoon All,

    Has anyone received a message of OA yet in reference to our pay? We get plenty of messages during the impasse, now that we are going to paid, nothing from them in reference to how and when we are going to be paid.

  18. Robin, Did I read correctly that the people who received a partial pay on July 24 will get checks BEFORE the people who received partial pay on July 17? Does anybody else think that is backwards?

  19. Yes, you did. I initially thought it was weird. However, it makes sense when you consider that the people who received partials on July 24 are getting their NORMAL payroll on Friday. So they are bulking it into the normal job somehow. I am guessing it saves one extra treasury run since they are already processing their records this week anyway. Now they DO have to run twice next week…once for backpay for the rest of us and once for regular pay next Friday.

  20. At first I thought it was strange also but then I realized those paid on the 24th only received 20% of their pay. Just happy we will finally be getting paid and only 1 bill being paid late.

    Also Robin let me know when you get the bumper stickers, I definitely want one. I will not forget what has been done to us and those still waiting.

    Please continue to email your representatives and remind them there are those still waiting on pay.

  21. FYI I am on the cycle that received 20% on the 24th and we did receive full paychecks today with packpay included.

  22. I work for the courts. Everyone should keep an eye on their bank accounts today if you have your pay direct deposited. I awoke this morning to find the 2 full pays and 1 partial pay just waiting to go to the creditors….

  23. I work for the DOT and was paid today. However, just a reminder that there are a little over 2200 of our colleagues that STILL have no paycheck or even hope of one in sight. With the bulk of us not getting cheques, many of the support systems will be lost to them. We should help them maintain visibility so they do not fade from view.

  24. Just to let you all know, some people may be getting another slap in the face. The food stamps that many of us applied for will now be denied if the caseworker you met with didn’t process your application fast enough. I understand that the DPW workers have been way overloaded with everyone that applied but it’s really unfair that some people were issued their access cards on the day they were seen (such as Aug. 4th) but others who were seen last week are being denied.

    I applied via the compass website on July 21st and then waited for my letter to come in for my face to face interview. I never received the letter so I called the assistance office on the 30th and they told me to just come in. I did so on the 31st and was told that I was approved and would receive my card in about 4 days. After nearly a week of not receiving my card I called my caseworker and was told that since my case was not processed soon enough I was basically S.O.L.

    I understand that we are now getting paid but it was a little consolation to know that we were maybe going to get a little help. Now it feels like another punch in the gut.

  25. Carla, I have received some information that indicates the Secretary of DPW has been requested to revisit apps of state employees denied and not processed. I do not feel at liberty to discuss specifics, nor do I have any indication that this re-look will be taken, but I do know that it has been requested…direct to the secretary from a body that they won’t be as likely to ignore if it were just you or I inquiring. Like I said, no guarantees…but a ray of hope.

  26. I too applied in July. I had people who applied online after me who received theirs before we did. I had to call them 3 times. Finally they told us to come in and pick up the card. The processed the card as soon as we went into the office. What I couldn’t understand was why I needed my son’s last report card. Thank God for some reason it was still in the house from May.

    I too have been reminding people that this is not over. There are still people out there who did not and will not get paid for some time. When people heard employee’s were getting paid, they took it to mean everyone.

    We need to continue to support them and assist them in any way that we can. We must see this through as a team.

    This is also having a trickle down effect to our local communities. Pre K Programs in our area have been cut due to the state not paying the county. School districts are being effected as well.

    This is far from over.

  27. Robin, Thank you for that information. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    I’ll also keep praying for everyone else who has yet to be paid and for all of the programs that are going to be cut.

    Hopefully all this will end soon.

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