Governor Rendell stated in a news conference today that if the Budget Conference Committe cannot reach an agreement by Sunday, he will request that the House of Representatives approve Senate Bill 850. He was quick to clarify that this would not be a stop-gap budget, but rather the bulk of the Commonwealth’s operating expenses for the next year.
The governor stated that he will line-item veto all items, except for essential state government services. This will allow the Commonwealth to pay it’s employees and vendors. The governor clarified that this was not a final budget, but a measure to allow the state to continue operations, while a final budget is crafted by the committee. He reminded the committee members that he expects them to meet every day, until the budget impasse is resolved.
If the state begins operating under the altered version of Senate Bill 850, county and municipal governments will not receive funding for state-mandated programs, nor will funding be released for education or other programs.
Governor Rendell stated that if he were to sign Senate Bill 850 on Tuesday, August 4, state employees may not receive their paychecks on Friday, August 10, but should receive the full amount due by the following Monday or Tuesday. Employees due to be paid this Friday, July 31, are facing the first Commonwealth pay day in which they would receive no pay.