Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell and Senate Republican leaders are at odds over how to reconfigure the budget now that Congress has approved more federal money for states.
KYW’s Tony Romeo reports that congress has approved more medical assistance money for Pennsylvania, but less than was expected. Governor Rendell has proposed a spending cut of almost two-percent to compensate.
Congress, however, has also approved an extra $380-million for education on top of $250-million extra for basic education in the new state budget. The governor says he’ll trim that state money bump by $50 million, but Senate Republicans say the rest should also be cut and diverted to the state’s underfunded pension systems.
Erik Arneson is a spokesman for Chester Republican Dominic Pileggi, the Senate majority leader:
“The looming pension crisis, in our view, is the most pressing obligation that the state has at this point.”
With the infusion of federal money, Arneson contends schools will still come out ahead.