The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 195-3 to pass Senate Bill 850 this afternoon. The bill now goes to Governor Rendell, who is expected to line-item veto all but the items essential for the Commonwealth to pay it’s employees and vendors.
Several Republican representatives were quick to note that a number of state employees are paid under line items that are likely to be eliminated by the governer. They also noted that the continuing budget impasse is having adverse effects on Commonwealth funded programs, and some programs may have to cut back or even discontinue services until funding is received. Some programs at immediate risk are daycare centers, MH/MR services, and PHEAA funding for college-bound students.
If Governor Rendell is true to his word, the Payless Paydays for state workers should come to an end in 5-7 days. Whether the governor and legislature can agree to a responsible budget, without taxing Pennsylvanians into poverty, remains to be seen.
Update @ 5:00 pm:
Rendell stated during a news conference that he will sign SB 850 tomorrow morning, August 5. He further said that he expects the Pennsylvania Treasury Department to work through the weekend to ensure that state employees are paid early next week.