Using State Workers As Pawns

The Pittsburgh Tribune has a good editorial on Rendell’s budget tactics:

Yes. I remember a news conference where he told us the work force wouldn’t really be disrupted until July 17. Later, he said that was a mistake and things would be affected sooner — by July 9 — if no budget were in place. Curiously, July 17 later became a very critical date.

A state Treasury Department official would later say that if no budget were in place by last Monday, July 16, about 40,000 workers would see their state paychecks delayed.

Treasury officials later backed off that and said they could no longer have confidence of meeting the July 20 payroll by noon, Monday, July 16. Later, they said they could meet the payroll if the budget was approved by the end of that day.

July 17 likely was the real drop-dead date.

So the real budget crisis wouldn’t have come until July 17th?  But Rendell cut them loose early in order to use them as pawns in his political battle against Republicans over his new energy tax.  Why did we re-elect him again?

Apparently, the state workers are going to be reimbursed for the day off.  I actually have no problem with this.  State workers shouldn’t have to pay because their boss is a bozo.  All in all the reimbursement will cost taxpayers 3.5 million dollars.   Thanks a lot Ed!