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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, September 14, 2009

Did Deegan and Dally Solve State Budget Crisis?

Last month, Express Times editor Jim Deegan slammed local legislators for their failure to do do anything about the annual state budget impasse.

"The legislators will hunch their shoulders, point fingers at the power-brokers and yammer about how they told the governor this or warned their caucus about that. Then they'll lament about how they're just as frustrated as you with the logjam in government."

When Deegan speaks, LV legislators listen. Last week, I told you about recent efforts to break the state budget logjam, being spearheaded by State Rep. Craig Dally. He is proposing that all 253 members of the state house meet and remain in continuous session, as a committee of the whole, giving the rank-and-file an opportunity where leaders have failed. In just one day, there were already 65 co-sponsors from both parties, including LV legislators Joe Brennan, Rich Grucela, Karen Beyer, Gary Day, Julie Harhart and Dough Reichley.

Craig tells The Tribune-Democrat that constituents are disgusted by this impasse, which hurts people who need help the most. "[T]hey expect us to have a say in the process." Joe Brennan has experienced much the same reaction from his District in Fountain Hill and South Bethlehem. "When I cut my grass on Sunday night, people ask me 'Why aren't you at work?'"

If Dally is able to get 102 co-sponsors, the House will be forced to take action. But amazingly, just one day after Dally's proposal, three of the legislature's four caucuses have agreed on a compromise $28 billion budget. Of course, the drama still unfolds. Governor Rendell is threatening a veto because it spends too little. House Republicans may refuse to override that veto because the deal spends too much.

Did Dally's threat spur this compromise? I suspect leaders are very aware that the rank-and-file is ready to revolt. But what really got them off their asses was Deegan's blog.


Anonymous said...

And if pigs fly they will shit on your head. Crap in one hand and but Dally's plan in the other, you now have parity.

Anonymous said...

It smacks of political skullduggery. Dally, while perhaps a fine legislator, doesn't have the influence in Harrisburg to stand up and "force" a compromise. I think either: a) he heard whisperings of a budget compromise and in anticipation gave the speech in hopes of being credited w/ somehow forging the compromise; or b) fellow legislators, realizing he was facing an election in the Fall, gave hime soapbox time to help him out and make him look more judicial.

Anonymous said...

he was still a long way off in getting his 102 signature and the negotiating was underway before he started circulating. he didn't influence it any more than any other rank and file member.

it's possible that perhaps the leadership of both chambers finally got it together on their own. i know it seems odd that this might happen, but anger from the rank and file didn't put them in a room and working towards a deal. they are far to arrogant for that to be the case.

Anonymous said...


Part 1: Overview

Part 2: George Usry

Part 3: Lucille White

Part 4: Still Duped By O'Hare?

Anonymous said...

Second largest state legislature in the country and they steal $80K (almost triple an average PA salary) for delivering the worst performance in the country. Dally, Freeman, Grucela, etc... should repay what they've stolen and immediately resign. What the hell was Freeman doing on College Hill this morning? Get the hell back to work and actually try doing a little work for your bloated salary and undeserved pension. The whole bunch are shiftless thieves.

Anonymous said...

Agree with most of the above. Must call a major league bullshit on this one.

Anonymous said...

Who says everyone is unhappy with an impasse? I certainly don't care if they stay out until the rapture if it results in responsible spending.

We all know whatever agreement is reached, that will never happen.

Whenever there is a stalemate, the cry comes to "get to work and get it done". That is usually code for, "Ok, you made your point, now go ahead, pass an irresponsible budget, and push off the problems until next year."

The easy thing for them to do is keep on spending and then stand around, chests puffed out, spewing bullshit speeches like "We've heard your demand to end the crisis. So, my friends on both sides of the aisle worked tirelessly to reach a bi-partisan compromise that works for all Pennsylvanians."

Translation: We put on a show, took care of our special interests' needs as best we could, and will now proceed to spend more than we can afford.

Anonymous said...

Brennan is cutting his grass on a Sunday night, give me a break. How many days has he been in H-Burg, 2x week?

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