Thursday, July 07, 2005

And then there's the budget

Apparently the final details were hammered out in a rush last night, with a near-midnight vote allowing Rendell to sign off on the budget before heading to DC to testify about Willow Grove.
The deal, reached with the Republican-led General Assembly on a number of issues, restores $143 million in Medicaid cuts, implements a spending plan for a $625 million environmental bond, and institutes the largest legislative pay raise in two decades.
So that pay raise is just plunging ahead, right in there with cuts in medical care for the state's poor. And what of Rendell's onetime insistance that more legislative pay should be linked with a similar boost for those at the bottom end of the scale?
Earlier, Rendell had attached another proviso to his signature - that the legislature first send him a bill increasing the state's minimum wage. He is settling for much less - the appointment of a commission to study the issue.
Hooh hah.
John Baer at the Daily News is livid over this sly deal, calling it an obscenity to pad the pockets of pols at the expense of citizens. Hard not to agree.


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