Few Details, but Governor Rendell is on Board with a Budget
We don't have many details (the Governor said he wants senators and representatives to hear it first) but in an 8 PM press conference, the Governor has said he is on board with a budget with a spend number "close to" the original three-caucus budget (around $27.9 billion). Some highlights:
- According to Governor Rendell, the budget meets his commitment to education.
- The budget will spend $400 million less than last year's budget. Without federal stimulus dollars, it spends $2 billion less.
- Governor Rendell apologized for the "angst and concern" Pennsylvanians have been subjected to and for the 79-day delay.
- Senator Pileggi said the budget was a "remarkable feat" in this recession.
- Speaker McCall said that this was a budget deal involving "winners and survivors."
- "Now that the agreement is reached in principle, there is a fair amount of nuts and bolts that need to go on... it is our hope that we will be working through the weekend... next week is a possibility" but it is more likely the budget will be passed the following week.
- According to Governor Rendell, this budget preserves education and economic development, creates revenues, and constrains spending. He believes it could have been done in a shorter period of time, but thinks the end result is good for Pennsylvania.
- Table games are part of the revenue package, but overall revenue package not being released yet (expected that cigarillos will be taxed, but not chewing tobacco and cigars)
- Treasurer McCord is planning on a "strike force" effort similar to getting state workers paid quickly in order to make sure social service organizations are paid as quickly as possible.