With deadline passed, still no spending plan

    The legal budget deadline has come and gone, and Pennsylvania lawmakers haven’t agreed to a spending plan.

    The legal budget deadline has come and gone, and Pennsylvania lawmakers haven’t agreed to a spending plan.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090630sdpabudget.mp3]

    So here we are. It’s July, and Pennsylvania doesn’t have a budget. That’s been the case every year of the Rendell Administration, and right now, Republican and Democratic spending plans are still about two billion dollars apart.

    Governor Rendell has met with legislative leaders the last two nights, and Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati says Republicans are willing to negotiate-as long as Rendell meets all their demands.

    Scarnati: Certainly one parameter would be no broad-based tax increases for the commonwealth. Secondly, it is a budget that must be able to spend less than last year, as many Pennsylvanians are doing.

    Rendell is equally committed to his stance that Pennsylvania’s budget can’t be balanced without tax increases.

    He wants to temporarily raise the personal income tax rate by sixteen percent.

    Rendell says he doesn’t think a deal is likely within the next two weeks.

    And with both sides equally committed to their positions, that’s something everyone can agree on.

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