Most not-for-profits are used to the state paying their contracts a bit late. But a recent executive order, out of Albany, has them afraid that money delayed could become money denied.
"The governor's executive order suspends prompt payments to not for profits and so it makes it difficult for us to respond to people who are hurting and in need right now," says Empowered Pathways CEO, Stephanie Eghigian. She says their services are needed now, more than ever.
"There's 11% unemployment rate right now in Oneida County and people need help getting back to work and we can't do that if we don't have money to operate."
Eghigian says the executive order and resulting later contract payments couldn't have come at a worse time.
"It's also during a time when many non profits cannot fund raise effectively. And those are the funds that we use to bridge the gaps in our state funding," says Eghigian.
More than 700 not-for-profits, including several locally, signed a letter to Governor Cuomo, asking him to rescind the order.
"If the governor or state legislature looks at the not for profits as low-hanging fruit, we're all in trouble. Because the work they do....just think if there was no foodbank," says NYS United Way board member, Pat Costello.
Utica's Insight House, which provides addiction treatment, is watching the situation closely.
"The third quarter withold for Insigh House is currently projected at $37,000. If that converts to a cut, that'll be a hit," says Insight House CEO, Jeremy Klemanski.
Among the local not-for-profits that signed the letter: YWCA Mohawk Valley, ACR Health, Insight House, Old Forge Library, Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency. Costello says he also wants the state to recognize the value of not-for-profits, which account for 1.3 million workers, statewide.