ShareThis Page
Senate plans vote to override Rendell vetoes |

Senate plans vote to override Rendell vetoes

HARRISBURG — The state Senate on Wednesday will attempt to override Gov. Ed Rendell’s vetoes for programs ranging from child care to drug and alcohol services and grants for college students.

The votes potentially could restore $2.1 billion in spending, of $12.8 billion Rendell vetoed earlier this month. But if approved by the Republican-controlled Senate — it would take a two-thirds vote, rather than a simple majority — the bills would present a dilemma for the Democrat-controlled House.

“I am not concerned” about the override attempt, said Rendell. Asked whether he would lobby the House not to override the cuts, he said: “I think they know not to do it.”

Rendell is counting on pressure from day care centers, pre-kindergarten programs, and parents of students with grants from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency to force lawmakers to raise new tax revenue and expand spending.

A partial budget in place, $11 billion, is covering core services such as state police, the Department of Corrections and the salaries of 77,000 state employees. Rendell signed that portion of the bill into law, but vetoed a larger share of spending.

“The governor keeps trying to sell his snake oil, but the people of Pennsylvania still aren’t buying,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson County. “The governor wants a crisis atmosphere to give himself leverage in the budget negotiations — he said so directly, when he vetoed these programs.”

Scarnati said Wednesday votes would be “the first step in ensuring that vital state programs are not shut down while the overall budget negotiations continue.”

The move by Senate Republicans is an effort to put Democrats in a tough spot of having to approve the override votes or explain why they wouldn’t restore money for services that include veterans’ assistance, domestic violence and help for the homeless.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.