Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rendell Gives Budget Conference Committee a Deadline

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell says if the 6-member House-Senate Conference Committee does not reach a budget agreement by Monday, he will ask the House to approve Senate Bill 850. That's the $27 billion Senate Republican budget plan...

“I intend to approve only the funds that are necessary for the operation of government services and for public safety. I will veto all other line item appropriations,” Governor Rendell said. “I do not consider Senate Bill 850 to be a budget; it is simply a bridge to allow us to pay state workers and ensure the continued efficient operation of state government -- nothing more.

Rendell says he can't approve SB 850 in its entirety because he believes the funding levels are insufficient for core state programs including public education, health care and economic development.

“I remain resolute in my commitment to enact a final budget that adequately funds programs that educate and support the children of this state, and continues to protect our older and disabled citizens, but in doing so I will not allow state employees to suffer any longer. They’ve done nothing wrong."

Rendell says state workers and their families should not have to undergo further financial stress. The governor says this is not a stopgap nor is a solution to the budget crisis but rather a bridge.

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