Rendell Signs 'Bridge Budget,' Asks Senate to Approve Philly Legislation

Gov. Rendell just signed what he is calling a "bridge budget" that he says will help pay state workers while he negotiates a full state budget.

Rendell signed off on Senate Bill 850, a Republican-sponsored budget that holds the line on spending and includes no new taxes. Rendell last week asked for that action, saying he planned to line-item veto 90 percent of the legislation, leaving intact only the parts that keep state offices open and paychecks coming to state employees.

At the signing, Rendell called on the state Senate to approve House Bill 1828, which gives the city the power to increase the sales tax and change payments into the pension plan. The legislation was approved yesterday in the House and could get final passage today, at which point it will be sent to the Senate.

"I think it’s an appropriate response to Philadelphia’s crisis," Rendell said

It is unclear what will happen in the Senate. Dominic Pileggi, the leader of the state Senate Republicans from Delaware County, has said that he doesn't want to deal with the Philly requests until after the full budget is resolved. Rendell said he disagreed with the logic.

"I think Sen. Pileggi is wrong by saying it has to be part of the overall budget legislation. I just think he’s just dead wrong," Rendell said. "I urge the house to pass it today and the Senate to move swiftly and pass it tomorrow or whenever they get back."