Are Counties Entitled to Be Reimbursed a Percentage of Their Estimated Costs ?

In Adams County v. Department of Public Welfare, 502 Pa. 47, 463 A.2d 1002 (1983), the counties contended that they were entitled to be reimbursed a percentage of their budget estimates for the fiscal year, and the Court agreed. Accordingly, the Court ordered the Department to request the General Assembly to appropriate additional funds to supplement what had been previously appropriated in order to match the counties' estimated budgets. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed, observing that this Court had assigned too much significance to the Department's role in the budgetary process and none to the Governor and General Assembly, which have the greatest roles to play. Id. at 56, 463 A.2d at 1006. The Supreme Court held that Section 704.1(a) of the Public Welfare Code requires the Department to reimburse counties a percentage of what they actually spend on child welfare programs, but the statute did not obligate the Department to reimburse the counties a percentage of their estimated costs.