Week One Draws to a Close

Note:  This is part of a series of posts detailing the 2009 Pennsylvania budget impasse.  To see all posts in this series, click here.

For many Pennsylvania state employees, today is a red-letter day.  Today is the last day that I’ll get a full paycheck for an indeterminate period of time.  Because our legislature and governor have gone on vacation, our state budget remains deadlocked.  Without a budget, the state can’t spend any money (well, except for inmates and the legislators).  Without any money, paychecks for every state employee will dry up by the end of this month.  Every employee, from temporary employees to the upper echelons of management, is being asked to work without pay.

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Cough It Up: PA Budget Impasse, Part 4

Note:  This is part of a series of posts detailing the 2009 Pennsylvania budget impasse.  To see all posts in this series, click here.

Just read an article in The Patriot News about our legislators:

Taxpayers pay up to $33,445 a day to feed and house state lawmakers every day that House and Senate members are in Harrisburg waiting to vote on a budget. Lawmakers’ pay stopped on July 1 and will not resume until a budget is enacted. But per-diem checks, paid out of legislative reserve accounts, will continue to be issued.

Continue reading Cough It Up: PA Budget Impasse, Part 4

The Proof is In The Lawsuit

Note:  This is part of a series of posts detailing the 2009 Pennsylvania budget impasse.  To see all posts in this series, click here.

I was going to blog about the curious email I received from Metro Bank, but that will have to wait.  A commenter just posted a very interesting link regarding our now-in-effect budget impasse, and I wanted to share.

Governor Rendell is stating that the court has declared that the Pennsylvania Constitution supersedes the Fair Labor Standards Act.  And as you know, I have repeatedly said that this is incorrect.  The Rendell administration is only telling part of the story; because there is no conflict between the Constitution and the FLSA, neither supersedes the other.  The court has said that the FLSA doesn’t care where they money comes from, and in fact, not having money is not an excuse for violating the FLSA.  And in reviewing the court’s published opinion, I somehow missed this very enlightening footnote:

Continue reading The Proof is In The Lawsuit

Pennsylvania Budget Impasse 2009: Part 3

Note:  This is part of a series of posts detailing the 2009 Pennsylvania budget impasse.  To see all posts in this series, click here.

Pennsylvania’s annual budget impasse (2009 edition) is well underway.  Today, June 30th, is the deadline for a budget to be passed as per state law.  Naturally, our legislature and governor are all too busy having a pissing match to be bothered to actually do their jobs.  But they’ve all found plenty of time to spread a lot of misinformation.  Despite what Governor Rendell might suggest, AFSCME’s 2008 lawsuit did not declare that state employees must not be paid.  Here’s why:

Continue reading Pennsylvania Budget Impasse 2009: Part 3

Pennsylvania Budget Impasse ’09: Part II

Note:  This is part of a series of posts detailing the 2009 Pennsylvania budget impasse.  To see all posts in this series, click here.

An anonymous source just forwarded me a very interesting email concerning Pennsylvania’s threat to require its employees to work with delayed pay.  While it’s already been fairly well established that federal labor law will apply, our Governor and our legislature seem to think that it does not.  I can not fathom why they would put Pennsylvania taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in civil damages by breaking the law.

At any rate, the US Department of Labor — the federal agency tasked with enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act — seems to disagree with them.  And Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority (469 U.S. 528 (1985)), decided almost a quarter century ago, says that government workers are, in fact, protected by the FLSA.

Continue reading Pennsylvania Budget Impasse ’09: Part II