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Old 07-07-2007, 06:00 AM   #1
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The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has not passed their state budget for the 2007-2008 fiscal year. If the budget isn't approved by Sunday, July 8, 2008, the state will furlough as many as 25,000 employees, the result will be a shutdown of ALL PA STATE PARKS.

The article below, was copied from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's web site. I have bolded the part of the article pertaining to state parks. The actual article may be viewed using this link:

Parks to parkways threatened in state shutdown

Parks to parkways threatened in state shutdown
By Brad Bumsted and David M. Brown
Saturday, July 7, 2007

HARRISBURG -- State parks will close, routine highway maintenance will end and about 9,000 slot machines statewide will be disabled Monday if lawmakers fail to reach agreement this weekend on a state budget and related legislation.

Workers at state welcome centers and crews who patch potholes would be among as many as 25,000 employees furloughed if the budget impasse continues.

Pennsylvania's five casinos would shut down -- resulting in temporary layoffs for 3,500 private industry employees.

Legislative negotiators continued to meet Friday night. Sen. Vincent Fumo, D-Philadelphia, said after a two-hour negotiating agreement last night that he believes the chances of reaching an agreement by Sunday to avert the furloughs are "50-50.".

"I'm optimistic we continue to talk. We're not moving backwards," said Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, R-Jefferson County. But Scarnati said Gov. Ed Rendell does not need to go through with the furloughs on Monday. "We take a very different legal opinion of what he's done," Scarnati said.

The dispute centers on Rendell's insistence that key legislation accompany the budget, such as mass transit funding, portions of his health care plan and an alternative energy proposal that Senate Republicans find objectionable because of what they claim is a tax to fund $850 million in borrowing.

"This could cause a major crisis in confidence in state government," said G. Terry Madonna, a political science professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster County. "This could backfire on all of them."

The budget impasse would affect a wide range of people -- from campers planning retreats at places such as Raccoon and Ohiopyle state parks, to driver's license applicants and developers seeking road access permits.

Liquor stores will remain open because the Liquor Control Board isn't funded with state tax money.

State agencies would be affected to varying degrees. State police and all Department of Corrections workers would remain on the job. So would those for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

But at the Department of Environmental Protection, 1,349 employees would be furloughed while 1,500 would continue to work. The state has stopped spraying black fly larvae due to the budget impasse. The furloughs would effectively shut down funding for conservation districts, municipal recycling, mine reclamation projects, oil and gas well plugging, and environmental education activities, officials said.

The agency said activities critical to the public's health and safety -- such as enforcement, emergency response and West Nile virus surveillance and treatment -- will continue.

Notices were e-mailed to campers with reservations in state parks advising them that parks could potentially close, said Chris Novak, spokeswoman for the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

About 2,300 park employees statewide would be furloughed, including maintenance crews, office workers, environmental educators, lifeguards and others, she said. About 300 park managers and salaried rangers would remain on duty.

People already camping will be told they must vacate campsites by the end of the day Monday, Novak said.

"It will be a soft closure. They will have time to pack up their tents and whatever."


Dave LaTorre, spokesman for The Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Washington County, said a state government shutdown, if it happens, "is certainly going to have considerable impact, especially on The Meadows."

The casinos would close because Revenue Department employees who oversee collection of slots money are considered "non-essential."

For Meadows employees, including 505 local residents, who would not be paid each day the casino is closed, the daily payroll loss totals $47,000, according to William Paulos, the venue's president.

"That translates into a weekly payroll loss of $329,000 for these working families," Paulos wrote in a letter to state Sen. Jane Earll, R-Erie. "Economists maintain each dollar in payroll is spent and re-spent no less than eight times in the local community, meaning southwestern Pennsylvania will lose $2.6 million a week."

Earll, questioning the furloughs designated by Rendell, asked, "Why is everyone in the governor's press office considered essential?"

Orelio Vecchio, 69, of Pitcairn, is a revenue enforcement agent who has worked for the state for 19 years.

He has been told he'll be furloughed, but Vecchio, who knows something about politics as president of Pitcairn Council, is hopeful. "I am optimistic both sides can come together and reach a happy medium." Asked if it is unsettling to his family, Vecchio said, "It's not going to go away."

In PennDOT's District 11 -- Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties -- 512 of about 800 full-time employees would be furloughed.

Much of the department's routine work would halt, including maintenance activities such as pothole patching, crack sealing, road repairs, drainage upgrades, litter and debris removal, and some paving and bridge repairs.

Bridge inspections would continue because they are vital to public safety. Construction work under contract, such as the Parkway East, would continue.

Key managers would stay on the job for "monitoring, conducting and supervising those activities that are not impacted by the furlough," said Jim Struzzi, spokesman for District 11.

"The impasse will be a very difficult situation for nearly 11,000 PennDOT employees," said PennDOT spokesman Richard Kirkpatrick. "These are people that work hard every day on the road system and in providing such services as license renewals.

"Services people expect will be disrupted.".
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Old 07-07-2007, 06:00 AM   #2
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The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has not passed their state budget for the 2007-2008 fiscal year. If the budget isn't approved by Sunday, July 8, 2008, the state will furlough as many as 25,000 employees, the result will be a shutdown of ALL PA STATE PARKS.

The article below, was copied from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's web site. I have bolded the part of the article pertaining to state parks. The actual article may be viewed using this link:

Parks to parkways threatened in state shutdown

Parks to parkways threatened in state shutdown
By Brad Bumsted and David M. Brown
Saturday, July 7, 2007

HARRISBURG -- State parks will close, routine highway maintenance will end and about 9,000 slot machines statewide will be disabled Monday if lawmakers fail to reach agreement this weekend on a state budget and related legislation.

Workers at state welcome centers and crews who patch potholes would be among as many as 25,000 employees furloughed if the budget impasse continues.

Pennsylvania's five casinos would shut down -- resulting in temporary layoffs for 3,500 private industry employees.

Legislative negotiators continued to meet Friday night. Sen. Vincent Fumo, D-Philadelphia, said after a two-hour negotiating agreement last night that he believes the chances of reaching an agreement by Sunday to avert the furloughs are "50-50.".

"I'm optimistic we continue to talk. We're not moving backwards," said Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, R-Jefferson County. But Scarnati said Gov. Ed Rendell does not need to go through with the furloughs on Monday. "We take a very different legal opinion of what he's done," Scarnati said.

The dispute centers on Rendell's insistence that key legislation accompany the budget, such as mass transit funding, portions of his health care plan and an alternative energy proposal that Senate Republicans find objectionable because of what they claim is a tax to fund $850 million in borrowing.

"This could cause a major crisis in confidence in state government," said G. Terry Madonna, a political science professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster County. "This could backfire on all of them."

The budget impasse would affect a wide range of people -- from campers planning retreats at places such as Raccoon and Ohiopyle state parks, to driver's license applicants and developers seeking road access permits.

Liquor stores will remain open because the Liquor Control Board isn't funded with state tax money.

State agencies would be affected to varying degrees. State police and all Department of Corrections workers would remain on the job. So would those for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

But at the Department of Environmental Protection, 1,349 employees would be furloughed while 1,500 would continue to work. The state has stopped spraying black fly larvae due to the budget impasse. The furloughs would effectively shut down funding for conservation districts, municipal recycling, mine reclamation projects, oil and gas well plugging, and environmental education activities, officials said.

The agency said activities critical to the public's health and safety -- such as enforcement, emergency response and West Nile virus surveillance and treatment -- will continue.

Notices were e-mailed to campers with reservations in state parks advising them that parks could potentially close, said Chris Novak, spokeswoman for the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

About 2,300 park employees statewide would be furloughed, including maintenance crews, office workers, environmental educators, lifeguards and others, she said. About 300 park managers and salaried rangers would remain on duty.

People already camping will be told they must vacate campsites by the end of the day Monday, Novak said.

"It will be a soft closure. They will have time to pack up their tents and whatever."


Dave LaTorre, spokesman for The Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Washington County, said a state government shutdown, if it happens, "is certainly going to have considerable impact, especially on The Meadows."

The casinos would close because Revenue Department employees who oversee collection of slots money are considered "non-essential."

For Meadows employees, including 505 local residents, who would not be paid each day the casino is closed, the daily payroll loss totals $47,000, according to William Paulos, the venue's president.

"That translates into a weekly payroll loss of $329,000 for these working families," Paulos wrote in a letter to state Sen. Jane Earll, R-Erie. "Economists maintain each dollar in payroll is spent and re-spent no less than eight times in the local community, meaning southwestern Pennsylvania will lose $2.6 million a week."

Earll, questioning the furloughs designated by Rendell, asked, "Why is everyone in the governor's press office considered essential?"

Orelio Vecchio, 69, of Pitcairn, is a revenue enforcement agent who has worked for the state for 19 years.

He has been told he'll be furloughed, but Vecchio, who knows something about politics as president of Pitcairn Council, is hopeful. "I am optimistic both sides can come together and reach a happy medium." Asked if it is unsettling to his family, Vecchio said, "It's not going to go away."

In PennDOT's District 11 -- Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties -- 512 of about 800 full-time employees would be furloughed.

Much of the department's routine work would halt, including maintenance activities such as pothole patching, crack sealing, road repairs, drainage upgrades, litter and debris removal, and some paving and bridge repairs.

Bridge inspections would continue because they are vital to public safety. Construction work under contract, such as the Parkway East, would continue.

Key managers would stay on the job for "monitoring, conducting and supervising those activities that are not impacted by the furlough," said Jim Struzzi, spokesman for District 11.

"The impasse will be a very difficult situation for nearly 11,000 PennDOT employees," said PennDOT spokesman Richard Kirkpatrick. "These are people that work hard every day on the road system and in providing such services as license renewals.

"Services people expect will be disrupted.".
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Old 07-07-2007, 08:58 AM   #3
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Hot diggety Frank!!! It sounds like "FREE CAMPING" in PA state parks next week....

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Old 07-07-2007, 05:17 PM   #4
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I've followed PA politics all my life, I doubt that there will be a shut down. Rendell likes to push things to the limit, but in the end it will be settled.
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Old 07-07-2007, 06:22 PM   #5
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Talk of shutting the new casinos down but that may change.

-Tom
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:46 PM   #6
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Hondo, with Fast Eddie, he has to get something he wants to. He is a real Pr--k when it comes to tough politics in PA, and he don't give a dayum about state workers.
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:05 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jestme13:
Hondo, with Fast Eddie, he has to get something he wants to. He is a real Pr--k when it comes to tough politics in PA, and he don't give a dayum about state workers. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If he does what he was elected for he'll care more about the citizens of PA and their tax dollars than the state workers.

-Tom
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Old 07-09-2007, 03:58 AM   #8
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Well, its Official!!

From the PA State Parks Website.....


State Parks Are Closed
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has not yet adopted a budget for the fiscal year and so state parks are closed until the budget is passed.
Overnight facilities, boat launches, pavilions, picnic groves, swimming areas, trails, lakes, restrooms and other park facilities are closed.
Reservations will be cancelled on a daily basis. Overnight guests will be required to leave the park.
Park events and education programs are cancelled.


Local newspapers reporting campers are being asked to leave campgrounds and letters were sent to all those with reservations stating that persons would not be allowed into the parks until the state reopend the parks.

I feel bad for those with camping vacations planned
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Old 07-09-2007, 04:44 AM   #9
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Leaveit to the great state of Pa to mess things up with their crooked politics.
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Old 07-09-2007, 04:52 AM   #10
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Well, true to form, this goverment has put their priorities, or lack there of, before their resposibilty to serve the people. Yes PA has failed to reach an egreement on the budget and has furloghed thousands of people. Parks are closed as well as many other functions. I will say since I have moved to PA I have been disappointed in this state time and time again. I have received so many tax bills for so many little things that I have never heard of, and this govement can not seem to pass a budget and continue to function dispite all the money paid to them in taxes. This administration and this state goverment is a perfect example of what a govement is not supposed to do. It is a discrace and I am embarrased to be a resident of this state. As a resident of the state of PA I appologize to those inconvienced by this.
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Old 07-09-2007, 07:30 AM   #11
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Could Wisconsin be next?

Wisconsin Faces Budget Showdown-Shutdown

Assembly budget would cut spending and reject tax increases
July 9, 2007

http://www.gmtoday.com/news/politics/politics_front.asp

MADISON - Republicans who control the Assembly have reached agreement on a budget that rejects Gov. Jim Doyle's proposed tax increases on cigarettes, hospitals and oil companies but will instead cut state spending. Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch, R-West Salem, also said the plan would cut taxes on retirement income for 300,000 seniors and reinstate strict limits on property tax increases for the next three years.

Huebsch said he will have enough Republican votes to pass the two-year budget when the Assembly considers the plan Tuesday. Republicans, who hold a slim 52-47 majority, reached the agreement Thursday night after several days of closed-door deliberations.

"What we did was balance this budget by not raising taxes, by cutting government in almost every area," Huebsch said.

But Assembly Minority Leader Jim Kreuser, D-Kenosha, said Republicans caved into the "extreme right-wing" of their party that was demanding no new taxes and deep cuts in spending.

"They got 50 votes for something that is not workable or reasonable for the long haul in Wisconsin," he said.

Tuesday's approval would set the stage for a special committee of legislative leaders to begin trying to find a compromise between the Assembly and the Democratic-controlled Senate. Huebsch cautioned that process could "take a great deal of time" given the wide differences.

Details of the Assembly budget will not be released until Monday. But Huebsch said it will not include Doyle's plans to increase the tax on cigarettes by $1.25 per pack or new taxes on oil companies and hospital profits that critics said would be passed on to consumers.

Doyle proposed the increases to pay for road construction and expanding health care programs. The Senate went along with those plans and added a $15 billion universal health care plan in its two-year, $66 billion spending plan approved last week.

Doyle's top aide, Administration Secretary Michael Morgan, warned that stripping out the tax increases would likely require "massive cuts" to spending for education, public safety and proposed expansions of state-run health care programs.

"The Assembly Republicans have chosen Big Oil and Big Tobacco over hardworking families in the state of Wisconsin," Morgan said.
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Old 07-09-2007, 06:44 PM   #12
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There ya go Tom N, he's taking care of the people now, next will be the state workers. Oh and by the way, he's selling the PA turn pike and wants to make I-80 and I 81 toll roads, yea he's really doing his job ain't he . He sux
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:26 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jestme13:
There ya go Tom N, he's taking care of the people now, next will be the state workers. Oh and by the way, he's selling the PA turn pike and wants to make I-80 and I 81 toll roads, yea he's really doing his job ain't he . He sux </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's the Legislature, not Ed Rendell.

And I didn't vote for Ed Rendell. I'm a staunch Repulican from the Pittsburgh area. I'm not a Philadelphia Democrat.

-Tom
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:09 PM   #14
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So I guess you voted for ole Tom Ridge, what a knob he was.
Oh don't forget to send all that extra Harrisburg MONEY to Philadelphia, we really need it. lmao
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