Recently, I wrote to my state representative about the Pennsylvania budget impasse. He contacted me personally and assured me that the Legislature was working hard to pass a budget. Not satisfied, I pressed further.
What about a stop-gap measure that had been introduced to pay state employees? He explained that Gov. Ed Rendell would only veto such a bill. Still not satisfied, I pressed further. Why not pass the bill and let the governor take a stand against his own workers?
He expounded that there are other portions of the budget that are equally as important, such as education and schools. But you still owe your state employees for their work, I countered. That will not change regardless of the budget. There is nothing to stop the Legislature from paying the state's workers, for work already performed while they negotiate the budget.
While I am appreciative that my representative contacted me personally and engaged in a thoughtful discussion, I'm now convinced that the state's workers are being used as pawns/leverage in this political battle. The Legislature and the governor share equal responsibility for our mounting bills, defaults and late fees.
ANN M. WILLIAMS
The writer is a state employee.