It is with the utmost sense of urgency that we call upon our fellow citizens for action. Since July 2015, the Pennsylvania state budget impasse has wreaked havoc for rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters across the commonwealth. As the largest higher education risk management law and consulting firm in the country, we implore our clients, allies, and collaborators to contact their elected officials to increase pressure on the Pennsylvania Governor and State Representatives to not only pass a budget, but release the funding that has been delayed for six months.
In working with our local rape crisis center, we learned of layoffs, inability to meet payroll or benefits payments, exhausting lines of credit, cashing in CDs, taking second mortgages, and more; all due to state and federal grant funds not being dispersed. Meanwhile, caseloads and need continue to grow. This quote is taken directly from the Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County’s appeal to legislators:
As an agency, we have nothing left literally and figuratively. Even if the impasse was lifted tomorrow, it would take four weeks for the State Treasury to process and release the funds. Four our agency, this means four weeks without funds.
We spend our days working with campus and community partners to create a safer society. It is appalling to think of the approved funds that could help so many, sitting – unused. Please help us use our collective voice for action as we increase pressure on our representatives to allocate what is rightfully due in service to the citizens of Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania: Find your representative at http://www.house.state.pa.us/ and contact the governor at https://www.governor.pa.gov/contact-the-office-of-the-public-liaison/