Pennsylvania Shuts Down, Sort Of

The Keystone State is having a budget crisis. Governor Ed Rendell (D) has ordered a shutdown of all non-essential state services in Pennsylvania. The problem? There’s no approved state budget, and with the fiscal year having begun the state has no authority to spend money.

Pennsylvania, like many states, has a divided (politically) government. Governor Rendell is a Democrat, the state’s lower house is controlled by Democrats, but the state senate is controlled by Republicans.

Governor Rendell’s proposed budget features an energy charge that would cost residents an estimated $5.40 a year. That’s one of the reasons Republicans are holding up the budget. Other issues include a new hockey arena for the Pittsburgh Penguins and a new convention center in Philadelphia—issues that Governor Rendell wants considered before the budget but issues that the Republicans want considered after the budget. Republicans also want to cut $300 million from the state’s $27.3 billion budget according to Bloomberg.

Gamblers, though, got “lucky.” A state court judge has allowed the five racinos in Pennsylvania to remain open pending a hearing tomorrow.

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