There is still no agreement on the Human Services Block Grant, and the details of a proposed pilot program continue to stall progress on the budget.
Representative Gene DiGirolamo proposed a limited pilot program on Tuesday afternoon, but Corbett administration negotiators are going to the mat to expand the pilot to more counties and apply the strict rules set up in draft welfare code language to the pilot proposal.
Advocates hope to limit the pilot participants to fewer than 20 counties and require an evaluation before moving forward to expand the program.
Representative DiGirolamo’s proposal was clearly an olive branch to the administration to take some of the sting out of the loss on the block grant. The administration has barged through that door, looking to make the pilot into a Block Grant Lite.
So far advocates and Representative DiGirolamo are holding firm. Given the tremendous disruption to county services that is likely to occur with a swift implementation of a full scale block grant, slower and smaller also seems smarter.