Friday, October 30, 2009

Rendell Tells Lawmakers to Get Back to Work

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell says he’s disappointed the Legislature hasn’t acted on a table games bill since the budget was passed three weeks ago. Rendell says the lack of progress on a bill legalizing table games in Pennsylvania casinos is “inexcusable.” The spending plan he signed into law counts on $200 million in revenue from table games, but casino executives have predicted it will take at least six months from the time the law passes the time blackjack, poker and roulette tables are actually up and running. Rendell says he’s concerned the commonwealth won’t be able to reach the 200 million dollar figure if the bill doesn’t pass soon. “Our citizens endured a budget impasse that lasted 101 days. We were all to blame for that. But until the Legislature acts to resolve the remaining legislation necessary to balance the budget, that impasse in effect remains.” Rendell is withholding some &700 million in higher education funding as leverage to get lawmakers to act. Rendell is calling on the General Assembly to pass a bill November 9th. That’s the next day the House is scheduled to be in session. House Speaker Keith McCall and Majority Leader Todd Eachus have issued a statement taking issue with the governor’s comments. They say staff level meetings and negotiations have yielded progress, and they don’t want to rush through a complicated bill.

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