Have ideas for the Pa. budget? Lawmakers want to know

    A new website set up by House Democrats is trying to “crowdsource” budget ideas.

    A new website set up by House Democrats is trying to “crowdsource” budget ideas.

    The website, YourPABudget.com, lets people post their own suggestions of saving or generating revenue.

    Pennsylvania is facing a $1.2 billion revenue gap this year, and legislative leaders are negotiating a mix of budget cuts and targeted tax increases.

    Montgomery County Democrat Josh Shapiro helped launch the site, which has gotten more than 700 responses so far.

    “We think there are a lot of people in Pennsylvania who are thoughtful about the budget,” says Shapiro. “And this website clearly proves that. There are a lot of good ideas out there. Again, some I agree with, some I disagree with.”

    Suggestions are pre-screened, but Shapiro says that’s to avoid vulgar language, rather than conservative suggestions.

    A similar effort launched by Republicans in Washington was marred by racist and crude suggestions.

    Governor Rendell endorses the website, saying he’s willing to take suggestions from anyone and everyone.

    He says “99 of the [ideas] may be wacky…but the 100th may be a gold mine.”

    Rendell recalls a contest to pick a new slogan for Philadelphia during his tenure as mayor.

    “And we got some very good ones that we eventually used,” says Rendell, “and they went up on the signs. But we got some suggestions like, ‘Welcome to Philadelphia. Watch your wallet.’ Or, ‘Welcome to Philadelphia. Lock and load.’ Or, ‘Welcome to Philadelphia. We’re better than Camden.'”

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