PA Budget Impasse 2010: Hi

Well.

Here we are again.

It’s 2010.  For the eighth year in a row, the Pennsylvania state budget is in trouble.  After last year’s major nightmare, you’d think we’d be done with this nonsense.

You’d think that after the public outpouring of outrage, our elected officials would go out of their way to pass a budget on time this year.

You’d think that after the legal decision affirming the illegality of refusing to pay your employees (to say nothing of the untold mountains of taxpayer dollars wasted on the matter), our elected officials would stop with their partisan political grandstanding and finger-pointing.

You’d think that even if every shred of decency, common sense, and respect for their taxpayers was found conspicuously absent, our legislature wouldn’t dare yank Pennsylvanians around — again — in an election year.

But we’re not, they didn’t, they never will, and they are.

Continue reading PA Budget Impasse 2010: Hi

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.

Continue reading Rendell and the Furloughs

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.

Continue reading Payday is Not The End

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.