HARRISBURG, Pa. (7/23/09)--The Pennsylvania State House of Representatives rejected the $27.1 billion State Senate spending plan Tuesday, and credit unions already are disbursing funds to help members deal with the disruption of the state’s budget. With a budget impasse affecting the paychecks of thousands of Pennsylvania Commonwealth employees, Pennsylvania State Employees CU (PSECU), Harrisburg, began paying out funds for the specially created PA Budget Impasse Loans on Friday (Life is a Highway July 22). To date, PSECU has disbursed over $2.9 million to more than 3,300 members as the first wave of state employees contacted PSECU for advances to supplement or take the place of their regularly scheduled pay. “The loan area has been working 12-hour days in preparation for this situation, and on this past Friday and Saturday, our phone staff answered over 5,700 calls,” said Gregory A. Smith, PSECU president. “Our staff has been working diligently to help our state employee members.” The credit union has determined it can help 96% of the nearly 34,000 member state employees identified as eligible. Also, Belco Community CU, Harrisburg, to date has helped 30 state employees with financial relief during the budget deadlock. State employees who will not be paid have been offered a special interest-free loan to help them stabilize their finances during the impasse. Belco Community’s program offers a $1,000 line of credit at 0% annual percentage rate (APR) during the 2009/2010 state budget impasse and for 60 days after the budget is signed by the governor. Any remaining balance after that time will begin to accrue interest at a 3.9% APR. To be eligible for Belco Community's offer, individuals must be credit union members with direct deposit of payroll from the state. Loans are subject to credit approval. “Many state employees have taken advantage of our loan offer, and we will continue to meet their needs as long as the budget impasse continues,” said Lonny Maurer, Belco Community president/CEO.