Wednesday, October 22, 2008
A proposal on the November ballot to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars for water and sewer facilities is proving to be a tough sell among Pennsylvania voters. Some advocates are concerned that folks worried about the economy will defeat the measure. Pennsylvania's water and sewage systems need to make $20 billion dollars worth of improvements over the next fifteen years to meet state and federal environmental standards. The referendum would authorize the state to float a $400 million dollar bond to help start the upgrades. Governor Ed Rendell acknowledges the current economic climate may discourage residents from voting yes but he says it's worth the money. He says, “If we sit around and do nothing but cut spending, you know, the budget in Harrisburg will be ok, but that's not going to create one job for the people of Pennsylvania." Some Republican lawmakers have opposed the measure from the beginning, saying the state should not take on any more debt.