Monday, November 10, 2008

Budget Trumps Election in November

Now that the election is over, state legislative leaders are refocusing attention on the state's looming budget crisis. Tax revenues were down nearly $300 million dollars - or about 15% -- for the month of October and that is not the first month of lower than expected revenues and is not expected to be the last. State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says he expects to meet with representatives from the other three legislative caucuses soon to hash out an agreement on budget cuts. He says, "I think that all of us agree that tax increases in an economic downturn when people are losing their jobs and struggling to meet their ordinary expenses [would be a] burden on those individuals." Governor Rendell has the final say on state expenditures, and has already announced $350 million dollars in spending cuts following the October report. Pileggi says that won't be enough to cover what could be a $1.5 to $2 billion dollar shortfall by the end of the fiscal year.

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