Local senior centers to shut down while Pa. budget stalls

Local senior centers to shut down while Pa. budget stalls

MERCER, Pa. (WYTV) – Another day, no budget, and one more closing.

That is the broken record that has been playing in Pennsylvania for months.

One of the latest casualties of the budget impasse is the Mercer County Area Agency on Aging, Inc. The agency has run out of money and will close four senior centers on Monday.

“We have been running on fumes for the last couple of weeks,” said Kim Glatfelter, of the Mercer County Area Agency on Aging.

The senior centers serve several thousands of elderly people, some of which have illnesses, like dementia.

Lori Johnson’s mother has been going to the center for the last year.

“She’s a wonderful woman, and she does not deserve this,” Johnson said.

On Wednesday, Republican senators tried to pass an emergency budget bill. It failed by three votes.

Mercer County Republican Sen. Michele Brooks said she has been trying to get a bill passed but blames Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf for the impasse.

“This was a missed opportunity and needed opportunity to move beyond partisan politics and be responsive to the people of Pennsylvania,” she said

Governor Wolf echoes the same sentiments toward Republican lawmakers.

“I’m doing all I can,” he said. “I need help from the other side, in terms of addressing these issues, but we need to do it openly and honestly.”

In the meantime, until a budget is passed, many services will remain closed for people in Pennsylvania.

David Hall, director of the Mercer County Area Agency on Aging, said he is hopeful for a resolution soon.

“We’ll be back in the swing, just hopefully sooner than later,” he said.

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