Rendell Considers Options to Pay Workers

Workers could know by midweek if they'll get paid

Gov. Ed Rendell is considering ways to pay for Pennsylvania's state government operations so that tens of thousands of employees don't miss more paydays during the ongoing budget impasse.

Rendell says he's exploring options and wants the money approved by the middle of this week. The state's approaching its fifth week of a budget impasse and after weekend negotiations, the governor says he doesn't have much hope that lawmakers will reach a compromise anytime soon.

He chastized Republican senators. Rendell says they're "living in a fantasy land," according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"They have to absolutely have a reality check," Rendell said during a news conference in the Capitol. "There's pain here. There's pain for everybody. And they've got to start absorbing some of it. They've got to do things that they don't like. I've done things that I don't like."

The state can't pay bills or meet its payroll. Nearly 80,000 state employees received partial paydays because the state can't pay them for days worked after June 30. Some 33,000 face a payless payday on Friday. Once a budget is passed, workers will get back pay.

Democrats and Republicans are arguing over the size of the state budget, with fundamental disagreements over whether taxes should be raised to support state programs.

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