As equity markets spike to all new highs with each passing day, the number of fiscal crises springing up within local and state governments around the country are reaching somewhat alarming levels, even if they’re being completely ignored by investors. As Reuters notes this morning, the state of Pennsylvania may become the latest example government failure when it runs out of cash later tonight leaving some $860 million worth of bills unpaid.
Pennsylvania could run out of cash on Friday, leaving $860 million of bill payments up in the air as lawmakers continue to argue over a revenue package that is more than two months overdue.
The state legislature passed a $32.5 billion spending plan on June 30, the end of the fiscal year and the deadline for the current year’s budget.
But it failed to agree on a revenue package to pay for those expenses, and the state has been borrowing money from its own short-term investment pool.
Treasurer Joe Torsella has said he will not issue more such loans and that the state’s general fund will likely run down to zero on Friday.
While Pennsylvania will be able to make some payments – including nearly $102 million of debt service costs due on Friday – it will not be able to pay all the bills that are due, said Treasury spokesman Mike Connolly.
An estimated $860 million of payments for various items, possibly including schools and Medicaid, could be delayed until the legislature fully funds the budget.
Not surprisingly, Pennsylvania’s funding crisis has only been exacerbated by a political dispute over whether the state’s budget gap should be filled with extra taxes and/or expense cuts.
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…