Rendell and the Furloughs

Sounds like a really, really, really bad college band, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I don’t want to brag, but I told you so.  According to a story on WHTM:

The state Supreme Court said Monday it agreed with state workers’ unions and ruled against the position that Gov. Ed Rendell had taken leading up to the July 2008 budget deal. The unions had argued that the federal Fair Labor Standards Act trumped a section of the state constitution that requires an appropriation in order for money to be paid out of the state treasury.

This is a huge victory for us bottom-of-the-ladder state workers.  But it’s a hollow victory, because although it reaffirms what we’ve known all along, the state still chose to knowingly break the law.

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Payday is Not The End

As you’ve probably already heard by now, those of us on the 8/7 pay cycle received our full pay (along with back pay) this past Friday.  With a few exceptions, everybody on the alternate cycle will be paid this coming Friday.  This is a bittersweet victory for us state employees who were asking for nothing more than our paycheck.  While most of us have been released from being pawns to our governor’s and legislature’s political games, the budget has still not been passed.

And there’s still the issue of inappropriate behavior by our elected officials — both Republican and Democratic.

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We’re On Our Way

Senate Bill 850, “An Act to provide from the General Fund for the expenses of (the state)”, is on its way to the governor.  Three legislators voted against the bill — Representatives Steve Santarsiero, Dennis O’Brien, and Paul Drucker.  Rumors of a fourth are rumbling, but the bill passed by an overwhelming margin.  The threat of angry voters promising to vote against every incumbent has apparently been felt.

You can see how your legislator voted by clicking here:  SB 850

In a related note, I’ve had my hands full this past weekend, so the updates have been slow.  I’ll attempt to resume this week.

The Meeting

Words can not describe my disappointment at today’s events.

First, let me say that a stopgap budget, or any measure passed to resume our pay, is bittersweet.  True, we’ll technically be getting paychecks again.  And for a lot of state employees, that’s the difference between dinner and nothing.  So I won’t complain if our paychecks resume under such a proposal.  But at issue here is the fact that our legislature has not yet passed a formal budget, despite our constitution requiring its approval by June 30th — almost a full month ago.

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