The issue is that the Pennsylvania State Legislature remains deadlocked over passing a budget. They managed emergency legislation to keep state workers paid, as well as funding a very few essential services. Everything else is up in the air.
What this announcement from the Philly Free Libraries means, in this context, is two pieces:
- It's an attempt to embarass the legislature into getting moving, by increasing public pressure on them to reach agreement.
- It's also an honest statement that without the portion of their budget that comes from state funding, they simply cannot continue to keep the libraries open.
There are lots of other public (and semi-public) organizations in similar situations at the moment. For example, lack of a state budget means that the state hasn't paid out any of the student aid for college students. Those students, their parents, and the colleges and universities all made (very expensive!) plans based on the promise of that funding. Now the money isn't there... So far, the colleges have bitten the bullet and have taken the students without billing them for the missing $$ from the state of PA. But sometime around December or January the hole in their budgets will catch up with them too.
Meanwhile, for our stubborn representatives in Harrisburg, I vote one giant FAIL for the whole batch of them!