Rendell nudges three agencies to cut costs

    Governor wants auditor general, court system and legislature to agree to 2 percent cuts in spending.

    Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell says he’s still waiting to hear from three independent agencies on whether they’ll trim about 2 percent from their operating costs.

    Rendell says the office of the attorney general, treasurer’s office, PHEAA and three other agencies have agreed to cut 1.9 percent from their budgets in the face of a deficit caused by less-than-expected federal funding.

    But the governor says the auditor general, court system and legislature have yet to commit to the cuts.

    During a recent press conference, Auditor General Jack Wagner chafed at the request, pointing out his department spends less than it did when he took office.

    And if that were the case for state government today, it wouldn’t be a 28 billion dollar budget – it would be a 23 billion dollar budget or 24 billion dollar budget,” says Wagner.

    But Rendell dismisses that argument.

    “That’s like saying, geez, I spent all yesterday bailing out the boat. Boat’s still sinking, but I shouldn’t bail out anymore. Because I bailed out all yesterday,” says Rendell.

    Rendell says the six agencies’ cuts will save a bit more than $11 million.
    But he says the auditor general, legislature and judiciary could double that amount by trimming their budgets, too.

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