Rendell signs state budget, ends 101-day stalemate

HARRISBURG, Pa. - October 9, 2009 Rendell says the budget he signed Friday night doesn't have broad-based tax increases as many states have done. He says it doesn't make cuts to his priorities of education, health care or economic development.

Rendell signed the bills after the state Legislature held a flurry of votes on the $27.8 billion budget's primary appropriations bill and a key companion bill, ending a 101-day state budget stalemate.

The budget agreement cuts spending by more than 1 percent to help resolve Pennsylvania's multibillion-dollar, recession-driven shortfall.

The companion bill taps more than $1.5 billion from the state's reserves.

However, approval of nearly $700 million in discretionary funding for universities and other institutions is being held up in the House. Lawmakers must settle disagreements on a bill to legalize and tax table games at slot-machine casinos.

Table games are expected to produce $200 million in taxes and fees for the state treasury.

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