Friday, October 9, 2009
Pennsylvania’s budget is nearly complete, and Governor Rendell says he’s hoping to sign portions of it into law today. The tax code and appropriations bills are on his desk. That leaves only a fiscal code measure. Rendell says he’s ready to sign the bills into law so that money can start flowing to government agencies. He says, “I am pleased with the progress that’s been made… I will sign [the tax code and appropriations bill] immediately.” Legislative leaders are currently working out differences on the fiscal code bill. Senate Minority Leader Bob Mellow says the remaining sticking point is whether the measure will create a new fiscal office that would independently monitor budget proposals. The fiscal code authorizes using Pennsylvania’s rainy day fund to help fill a 3.2 billion dollar deficit, among other designations. Officials say they’re hopeful it can pass the General Assembly today. To make the budget complete the legislature must expand the state’s gaming laws to include table games. The Senate has approved such an expansion and the House is expected to take up the bill next week.