It's uncertain when a House-Senate Conference Committee will get back to work to try to develop a compromise budget. Yesterday Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell signed a "bridge budget" to pay state employees and keep core government functions operating.
The governor urged lawmakers to cancel vacation plans so a full budget can be enacted.
Rendell took a Senate Republican-backed budget bill and slashed 258 line items to
create an 11-billion dollar spending plan. He says he only kept essential
"Our state employees protect us from crime on the streets, they help us
keep criminals behind bars. They help us keep the water we drink and the
food we eat safe. They help care for kids and the elderly, who face
immediate health challenges. This budget keeps in place those services."
Senate Majority leader Dominic Pileggi says he's mystified by the
rationale behind the governor's cuts. Pileggi says the slimmed down plan
seems designed to create political leverage for the governor's tax
proposals...leaving county services and school districts foundering
without state funding.