Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Cawley Announces Substantial Agreement on Block Grants for Counties

Jun 05, 2012, 12:22 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Lieutenant Governor

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Joined by a bipartisan group of county commissioners from across Pennsylvania and Department of Public Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander, Lt. Governor Jim Cawley today announced an agreement on the implementation of the human services block grant.

The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) and the Department of Public Welfare reached a substantial agreement that would fundamentally change human service funding by giving counties greater control through block grants.

"Governor Corbett and I want to transform the relationship between the state and local governments," Cawley said. "In these challenging times, block grants will give counties flexibility to address the specific needs of their unique communities."

Currently, state funding is segmented into different programs like mental health, child welfare and drug and alcohol programs. Counties must keep the funds separate and provide reports for each funding source.

Cawley said that block grants would combine seven funding appropriations into one, allowing counties greater discretion in how the money is spent and streamlining reporting requirements into one, unified document.

"This landmark block grant delivers real innovation, flexibility and control at the local level where decisions should be made," said DPW's Alexander. "We have designed a novel system of performance measurement and accountability that will improve quality and deliver the most appropriate services."

"Regardless of whether funding is reduced, restored or increased, Governor Corbett's proposed block grant program will provide counties with the flexibility we need to provide people with the services they need," said Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz, CCAP president.

"The current system is not fair to taxpayers or to the people in need.  Block grants will free counties from reporting to multiple masters and free people from applying to multiple programs," said Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach, CCAP first vice president.

To learn more about Governor Corbett's proposed 2012-13 budget, visit the Budget Office online at

Media contact: Chad Saylor, 717-787-3300

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Lieutenant Governor