Gov. Rendell, speaking in Harrisburg just now, repeated his vow to veto a budget deal now moving in the state General Assembly. Rendell added that he expects the legislators will be able to override that veto to force the $27.9 billion state budget into place. He predicted that a budget vote could come by the end of the week.
Rendell met last night with Republicans and Democrats from the state Senate and Democrats from the state House to discuss their budget deal, unveiled Friday. No progress was apparently made in those talks since Rendell derided the plan today as a "get-out-of-town budget." The state budget, which was due to start July 1, is now 76 days overdue.
"I want to be crystal clear: This is a phony budget," Rendell said today. "It doesn't add up."
In a case of unlikely political bedfellows, Rendell agrees with the Republicans in the House that the budget is a bad idea. Rendell says the deal violates two principals he set: No more cuts to education or health care funding and the budget must be balanced this year and next. The House objects because they think the plan's spending is too high.