An uncertain future, to say the least
Friday, Mar 18, 2016
* This AP story is kinda jumbled but I’m gonna try to clear it up for you…
What Munger was trying to say was that if the Democrats successfully appropriate money for state vendors (including human service providers), the state’s official payment backlog is going to increase by another $1.25 billion.
Why? Because while those services are currently being provided under state contracts, there are no enacted appropriations. All state contracts are subject to appropriations. So, the owed money isn’t officially counted by the comptroller because agencies can’t even submit anything to her without an appropriation or court order - and she couldn’t pay the bills even if she wanted to. But if the Democrats appropriate that money, the backlog will grow because it will then be added to the tab.
* And this brings us to an e-mail I received today from a very worried provider. The sender asked that I keep his name and organization out of it, for good reason…
* The reader is partially right. Without an appropriation (or a successful lawsuit), those providers won’t ever be paid. It’s one reason why the Democrats are attempting to pass an appropriations bill right now.
However, if a deal is reached after the beginning of the new fiscal year, an appropriation for unpaid FY 16 contracts could still be enacted.
* There’s a big “if” here, though. Will the governor’s office and maybe even the Democrats cut a deal which deliberately shorts those FY 16 vendor contract payments to keep the deal’s costs down? They’ve shorted approp lines before, after all.
Nobody can answer that question with any sort of certainty right now.
* And here’s another problem: What if they never reach a “real” budget deal? No appropriation, no money. Ever. Not without a successful lawsuit, anyway. And that’d be tough.