Monday, July 9, 2007

State Government Shuts Down

Not quite, but 25,000 "non-essential" employees were put on temporary furlough, because legislators and Gov. Ed Rendell can not agree on a budget.

[Rendell] wants to impose a surcharge, or assessment, of $5.40 a year on homeowners' electricity bills in order to float $850 million in bonds to finance energy-efficient appliances and alternative forms of energy. (P-G, Barnes & Mauriello)

It looked as though this was the big problem, but Sen. Jane Orie suggests that the Governor has already caved in.

Therefore, we are guessing that Republicans must smell weakness, and are trying to make the Democrats look bad, while peeling off just a little more budget from the budget.

Among the list of things that are shut-down are: state park cabins and campgrounds, driver's license offices, museums and historic sites, and lots of permitting and processing functions.

It seemed as though the casinos would shut down, because the eight data-crunchers needed to regulate them would be out of work. However, casino lawyers were able to keep them going at least until a hearing tomorrow.

Our guess: once a judge rules against the casinos tomorrow, this whole thing will be resolved very quickly, and we will once again have our Commonwealth to kick around.

UPDATE: We really resented having to report on this. Really, who cares about state government -- too small to go to war, too big to pick up your trash. However, somebody beat us to it, and was able to manufacture a blogworthy thought.

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