When the Pennsylvania Senate gavels into session today, Republican leaders will launch an effort to override several of Governor Rendell’s line-item budget vetoes. When Rendell signed the so-called "bridge budget" he blue-lined or vetoed 258 line items. The governor was trying to pressure Republicans to accept the higher funding levels he wanted for these programs than what the GOP lawmakers proposed.
The override will focus on line items where Republicans and Democrats agree on spending totals, but were blue-lined by Rendell in an attempt to ratchet up pressure on lawmakers.
Those include 7.1 million dollars for rape crisis centers, 41.8 million dollars for drug and alcohol treatment programs, and 18 million dollars for food banks.
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says that funding needs to be restored.
"They are time-sensitive and very important services to the beneficiaries of that funding. And we thought it appropriate to at least make the attempt."
Perhaps underscoring the tough spot an override vote would put Democrats in, House Majority Leader Todd Eachus dismissed a question of whether he’d hold a vote on passed measures as a “hypothetical,” and kept other answers terse.
Reporter: "Non-hypothetically, what’s your reaction to this decision by Senate Republicans?"
Eachus: "It’s a tactic."
The GOP would need a two thirds majority to override.