Wednesday, April 7, 2010

PA State Rep. says Budget Hole Rendell’s Fault

Yesterday the Federal Department of Transportation rejected Pennsylvanian’s attempt to place tolls on Interstate 80 and Governor Ed Rendell plans to call a special session of the Legislature aimed at plugging a $472 million hole in the budget. State Representative Jim Christiana of Beaver County says it was an “irresponsible budget” that should not have been passed in the first place. He says the governor has shown in the past that he is willing to “hold anything hostage” to get his way. The Republican says, “The governor did it with the schools [during the overtime budget debate] last year.” Christiana says the governor should have known that the application was going to be rejected and should not have included it with the budget he submitted to the legislature. A similar application was rejected last year. He says the governor, “For his part is playing games” by calling the special session. Rendell has floated several methods to cover the nearly half billion-dollar hole. Among them is an increase in the gas tax and a tax on the gross profits of oil companies earned in Pennsylvania. Christiana says there is money elsewhere in the budget that could be shifted to maintaining roads and bridges. He says, “It is all just an issue of setting priorities.”

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