Monday, July 09, 2007

PA shut down in effect for casinos, state parks...

Non-essential state workers, whoda thunk? Surely not Pennsylvania taxpayers? How much are these people paid anyways? What benefits do they get? How much do they cost Pennsylvania taxpayers? Maybe, just maybe, they are really non-essential to a free-people.

Penn. Gov. Orders Partial State Shutdown

Jul 8 11:31 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writers
Gov. Ed Rendell late Sunday ordered a range of state government services shut down and placed about a third of the state work force on indefinite unpaid furlough after frantic last-minute negotiations failed to break a budget stalemate.
Rendell, appearing outside his Capitol office, said the shutdown would go forward but he and legislators will continue to work toward a deal.

"Let me say to our hardworking and dedicated state employees, we worked as hard as we could today," Rendell said. But, he said, negotiations and serious consideration of his priorities, which he maintains must be passed along with a state spending plan, began too late.

"We didn't start early enough," Rendell said. "I think everybody was at fault."

Pennsylvanians will be unable to take driver's license tests, state- run museums will be shuttered and casinos will have to stop taking bets Monday. Highway maintenance and a range of permitting and licensing functions will be stopped or severely curtailed, and the lights illuminating the Capitol's dome were to be turned off.

This is a breaking news update. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

via Drudge Report and Breitbart


Panel wants casino answers
By Brad Bumsted
Friday, July 6, 2007

*HARRISBURG -- As tension increased over a budget impasse that enters its sixth day today, a Senate panel Thursday issued subpoenas to compel two senior officials of Gov. Ed Rendell's administration to testify about whether the state has money available to keep casinos open.

Pennsylvania's five casinos could shut down Monday if there is no budget, because Revenue Department employees who oversee collection of slots money are considered "nonessential." As many as 25,000 state employees overall could be furloughed.

The state would lose an average $1.7 million a day in revenues if the casinos close.

Budget-related negotiations continued. GOP senators said a chief stumbling block is Rendell's insistence that lawmakers approve his plan to borrow $850 million for alternative energy projects. The plan would assess residential, commercial and industrial power users.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, R-Jefferson County, said that could mean thousands of dollars more each year for hospitals and nursing homes in his district.

The Committee on Community, Economic and Recreational Development, chaired by Republican Sen. Jane Earll, of Erie, voted to subpoena Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf and Secretary of Administration Joe Martz after they refused to voluntarily respond to Earll's request to answer the committee's questions.

Earll wants to know whether the Revenue Department has money to pay the salaries of seven employees who monitor collections from the casinos, or whether the Gaming Control Board has money it could transfer for that purpose.

The state ended the fiscal year June 30 with a $650 million surplus.

No comments: