Gotta have more budget news

Yup — as you can gather, it’s that time of year where the news becomes all-budget, all the time. Here’s the latest update:

Governor Rendell says he’s willing to accept a 28.2 billion dollar state budget – but warns any spending plan would be upended, if Congress doesn’t pass a medical spending bill.

Emerging from a negotiating session with legislative leaders, Rendell said talks have made “tremendous progress,” and that he and House Democrats have come up with a 28.2 billion dollar proposal. Rendell wants to keep 850 million dollars of extended federal medical funding in the spending plan, despite growing concern Congress won’t pass a measure authorizing the aid.

He says that would create “Armageddon” for Pennsylvania’s finances.

Republicans want to take the FMAP money out of the state’s budget, or set up a contingency plan where the 850 million dollars in possible cuts are clearly identified. House Minority Leader Sam Smith explains:

Smith disagrees that no FMAP would lead to a crisis, asking, “you know, when are you going to face the piper? If the FMAP money’s here this year and it’s not here next year, you know, next year you still have to face the same music. That’s been our concern for the last two years with all of this stimulus money.”

Rendell says he’ll travel to Washington on Monday with a contingent of governors to lobby for the medical funding bill.

About pubradiopolitics
Scott covers state government and politics for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh.

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