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Rolling Gov’t Shutdowns In Pa.?

With a budget crisis looming — this phrase is not as popular as I expected, by the way — the Pennsylvania state government has a novel idea to save money: Rolling shutdowns of state government!

Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo: “It’s a matter of responding to the fiscal crisis as we need to. We are not announcing any rolling furloughs at this point; we’re just making preparations in case we need to do so.”

Ardo says those rolling furloughs might mean shutting down most state government operations for a day or two per month, or it could mean closing different state agencies on different days.

I have no real opinion on this, unless they start targeting the liquor stores. If that happens, there will be a battle.

Amid Budget Crunch, Pa. Considering ”Rolling Shutdowns” of State Government [KYW 1060]
Photo by Dwight Evans’ mayoral campaign (really!) used under a Creative Commons license

Dreaming Of A Government-Free Pennsylvania

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You know, maybe it’s time to re-think this Pennsylvania government shutdown. First off, there’s that weird cartoon at right I found online. And how many times have I wished on this blog the Pennsylvania government would just shut down? I’m too lazy to check, but I know I’ve at least thought about it while writing about this lieutenant governor’s singing parrot.

Anyway, think about a Pennsylvania without government. Mark B. Cohen would have 100,000 posts on Phillyblog, Ed Rendell would just be a football analyst and Philadelphia could limit residents to one gun a month, which would end all murder. Libertopia!

But the Pennsylvania government will eventually go back to work, which means the above is will just have to remain a fantasy. It’s time to look at actual problems with the current shutdown — I’m sorry, a “furlough,” whatever that is. How will this person get her learner’s permit?

Outside one driver’s licensing station, University of Pittsburgh student Dandan Hong, 21, found out from security guards that she would have to wait to get her permit — the office was closed. She had been cramming for the test and leaves on vacation in two days. “I didn’t know about it until I got here,” she said. “I don’t know how I’m going to get my permit.”

Clearly, she was planning on spending her vacation… uh… driving? In Pennsylvania with a licensed driver over 21? I don’t know. I don’t remember what it was like “cramming” for the permit test, but I do remember one of my questions had a photo of a stop sign and asked me to say what it was.

But it turns out the real losers here aren’t people who want to go to parks or people who are losing their paychecks. No, shed a tear for the casinos and racetracks, who are just really on hard times right now.

Bobby Soper, chief executive of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, worried that his patrons — there are usually about 5,000 on a typical Monday — might not know the casinos were open. “The fact that it occurred at the 11th hour made it somewhat difficult to get the message out,” Soper said.

This is the worst thing to happen to Indians since the Trail of Tears.

Pennsylvania government partially shuts down [AP/CNN.com]