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

Time’s Up

It’s Christmas eve (at least it was when I started typing).  If you haven’t wrapped up your Christmas shopping by now, there’s no hope.  Most stores are closed, and of the ones that are still open … well, nobody wants that Imitation Designer Perfume / Cologne from the 24-hour truck stop, no matter how cheap the price.  Just cut your losses and move on.

Earlier today I completed my trek up to parts north to spend the holiday with family.  As I’m typing this in front of a roaring (gas-powered) fireplace, a dog of intriguing lineage has decided I’m her best friend.  She’s pretending to sleep right now, but every few minutes she inches closer and wedges herself in as close as she can.  I just finished off the last piece of homemade poppy seed roll while watching the season’s final three episodes of Dexter.  Life is good.

2009 has been an amazing roller coaster of a year.  For starters, floor9.com moved a little further from covering nightlife and a little more towards consumer interests.  I called out Privado for printing full, unmasked credit card numbers on their receipts (a practice which they have since corrected).  Circuit City went under and tried to take us all with them through unethical, anti-consumer behavior.  Metro Bank Harrisburg … don’t even get me started (although the story did earn me a link from The Consumerist).  The state decided not to pay 70,000+ state workers for weeks on end.

And then … I ran out of steam.  Don’t get me wrong — lots of other interesting and significant things happened in 2009.  I just didn’t have the momentum to cover them all.  I honestly think I’ve put forth more blog posts this year than I have at any point in the last seven years of floor9.com, and I’m only now starting to recharge.

And now it’s Christmas.  I’m exhausted from a day of shuffling presents around.  We polished off the last of the traditional Christmas Eve made-from-scratch pizza hours ago.   The though of spending the next 12 hours sleeping is awesome.

Merry Christmas* to all.  I doubt I’ll update again in 2009, but I do want to thank you all for being here.  The massive readership over the summer has been, if nothing else, therapeutic towards the shared causes so many of us took up.  And the gigantic spike I saw after the last post let me know a ton of you are still here.  Be safe, and see you in 2010!

* – To avoid offending the fragile sensitivities of Glenn Beck / Rush Limbaugh / et al listeners:  “Please partake in and/or observe an adequate non-secular event”.

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