Forgive the Pennsylvania Convention Center's board if it is in a partying mood, having nearly completed a nearly $800 million expansion.
But forgive a powerful state senator, too, for his more somber thoughts on plans to use a $1.75 million state grant this summer to celebrate the moment.
"My position is simple," Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware) wrote the board last week. "No taxpayer funds should be spent on a self-congratulatory party or celebration."
Pileggi wrote to clarify what he'd meant when he said two weeks ago that "some expenditure" could be appropriate to "showcase" the new venue. The board has selected an event planner; there is talk of mini-events for construction workers, area businesses and neighborhoods, and the elected officials who helped make it happen.