Silly season has officially descended on Harrisburg, with the State Budget and the horse trading on various pieces of union-busting legislation playing out like a real life game of whack-a-job.
Just in the past day, the Governor’s rejected bid to outsource the Pennsylvania Lottery to a British company appeared to get new life, with rumors of a budget amendment that would expand the Governor’s ability to enter into such contracts on behalf of the Commonwealth. This creates the very real prospect that the Governor could resubmit the contract ahead of a June 30th deadline.
While transportation funding continues to be debated in the State House, efforts continue by some to tie this critical funding to attacks on workers, such as prevailing wage.
It just so happens that one of the anti-prevailing wage bills in the House, HB 665, will be proceeding to a full house vote on the measure today. This is the bill that would reclassify a huge number of road construction projects so that they would no longer be subject to prevailing wage laws.
Both the job-killing McIlhinney plan to privatize the State’s Wine & Spirits Stores, and the original house bill, HB 790 that was passed back in March, are both alive in the Senate and could see amendments or even votes later today.
And finally, there is legislation in both houses to destroy retirement security and bankrupt our pension systems by putting new employees into an expensive 401(k)-type plan. These bills would cost taxpayers over $33.5 billion, and the House bills contain unconstitutional provisions to reduce the benefits of current employees.
We now have 59 hours to go until the end of the June 30th budget deadline, but that is still time for legislators to hear from their constituents.
If you have not yet e-mailed your legislators and asked them to OPPOSE the attacks on workers, and to SUPPORT a reasonable budget that invests in the future of the Commonwealth, then please do it now!
If you are one of the thousands who have already contacted their legislators this week, then please forward this page to your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and social networks. During these final hours we need EVERYONE engaged, and telling our politicians in Harrisburg to do the right thing!