Paychecks, But No Paydirt on Budget

Gov. Rendell will sign a stopgap budget to pay state workers

State workers will likely get paid again soon, but there's no quick end in sight for a bona fide state budget. Governor Ed Rendell met with lawmakers again over the weekend but those talks went nowhere.

The stopgap or temporary budget would cover payroll and some essential services. Rendell said he'd sign it early this week. That's good news for over 77-thousand state workers and frustrated family members.

"My husband works for the state and has not had a paycheck, I am currently unemployed so we have zero income. We were advised to take out a loan and call our creditors," Kathy Tenney emailed "Will he [Rendell] fix our credit once it is ruined because we cannot pay our bills on time?"

Lawmakers are supposed to have a final vote on the stopgap budget Tuesday and then send it over to the Governor for his signature. The problem with passing an interim budget is that it could slow down work to compromise on a final budget, possibly for weeks, critics say.

"My preference is that we'd continue to work on a full-year's budget," Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (D) from Delaware County said in an interview Monday morning on "Good Day." "People are right to be frustrated," said Pileggi, one of the lawmakers who met with Rendell over the weekend.

Pennsylvania is entering month two of operating without a budget. There's a budget gap of about 2 billion now between the House and Senate budget plans.

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