At the direction of Gov. Rendell, Secretary of Administration Naomi Wyatt today sent a memo to cabinet secretaries informing them of the number of employees they must furlough if the General Assembly does not pass a bill that legalizes table games by the end of this week.
The Department of Environmental Protection was directed to furlough 31 people (out of 1,647 General Fund positions) and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources would furlough 31 (out of 1,281 General Fund positions).
“I sincerely hope furloughs do not become necessary, but as I said last month, at this late date, I must create a plan to balance the budget if we cannot generate the revenue we anticipated,” Gov. Rendell said.
When the current budget was adopted last October, the General Assembly and the Rendell Administration agreed that the state would raise $250 million through legalization of table games at Pennsylvania’s licensed casinos, which currently allow only slot machine gambling.
The Governor announced last month that eliminating positions would be one of the steps necessary to plug the $250 million hole left in the budget if the state does not enact gaming legislation. The Governor set a January 8 deadline for passage of table games legislation before he would begin the furlough process.
Gov. Rendell earlier announced the fiscal year would end with a $124 million surplus.
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