(2010) Latest News and Updates on the PA Budget

(6/18/10) Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell asks legislators to prepare to stay until a 2010-11 budget gets done, by Jan Murphy, The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, PA. This week, Governor Rendell sent a letter to State House and Senate leaders asking them to keep all the representatives and senators in Harrisburg, starting on Monday 6/21/10, and remain in Harrisburg until a budget is done. According to Erik Arneson, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, (R-Delaware) , “Our collective staffs of all four caucuses were given the direction to work together between now and early next week to develop a spending plan that is in the ballpark of what a final agreement might look like.” It is becoming increasingly unlikely that Lawmakers will make the State’s June 30 Constitutional deadline.

(6/17/10) Time for compromise: state budget should be $28 bn next year, by The Patriot-News Editorial Board, Harrisburg, PA. “The easy revenue sources have been used up. With the Rainy Day Fund depleted and no appetite in the Legislature for broad-based tax increases on individuals or corporations, the government has to live within its means. That means $28 billion is about as high as we can feasibly go — even that will be a stretch. To further chop programs — especially in social services and environmental monitoring — at a time when so many in the state are struggling and our gas drilling industry is expanding at a breakneck pace would be unwise. Make no mistake, there still will have to be painful cuts to balance even a $28 billion budget, but to go much lower than that would be to start balancing our state’s budget in detrimental ways to our citizens.”   

(6/16/10) Commentary: State budget battle lacks usual clamor, by Laura Vecsey, The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, PA “The only hint of last year’s name calling and saber rattling was Rendell’s suggestion that he didn’t expect Senate Republicans to bring forth a ‘Son of 850’ (reference to Senate Republican‘s Austere budget bill from 2009).  ‘I think the rhetoric is so much less this year,’ said Erik Arneson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dominick Pileggi. ‘Folks are realizing that didn’t work.’”

(6/16/10) State lawmakers launch website to gather ideas on balancing Pennsylvania’s budget, by Kari Andren, The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, PA. “State lawmakers, including , Rep. Eugene DePasquale, (D-York) launched a website this week, www.YourPAbudget.com, to collect ideas from residents on how to raise money, where to cut spending and other ways to balance the state’s budget.”

(6/16/10) Pennsylvania’s legislative leaders charge staff with developing a draft budget by next week, by Kari Andren, The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, PA. “Governor Ed Rendell warned that government employee layoffs, including teachers, could come as early as July if an additional $850 million in Medicaid assistance money from the federal government is not approved. The governor is counting on that money to limit the state’s FY2010-11 budget deficit to $1.2 billion. In the meantime, Erik Arneson, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, (R-Delaware) expects that the legislature will approve something more like a $27.5 billion spending package (with no additional revenue enhancements — pronounced tax increases) rather than the Governor’s $29 billion budget proposal.”

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About David A. Ross and Associates
David A. Ross, J.D. is a public policy and advocacy consultant from Pennsylvania. David A. Ross and Associates connects companies, nonprofits and government agencies to the rules, tools, information and resources they need to achieve their mission goals.

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