Key elements that are missing from the bill that will end the nine-month state budget stalemate, to take effect without the governor’s signature:
Pension reform to stem what will soon be a crippling, multibillion-dollar annual state obligation if left unchecked. Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman had said throughout the process repeatedly, “There is no budget without pensions (pension reform).” Obviously, he repeatedly misspoke;
Private sales of alcohol, as the people have demanded for years and which responsible alcohol consumers deserve;
Property tax elimination or significant reduction for all, not for only a select few;
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Reimbursement of interest costs incurred by the myriad nonprofit and education entities that were forced to borrow money in order to keep their doors open as state “leaders” dithered;
The means to legitimately deal with a hefty and increasing structural budget deficit, emphasis on the word “legitimately”;
Any reason to believe that a budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year will be approved without precisely the same type of stalemate tying the commonwealth into knots?
Nobody should be popping champagne corks over the provision of supplemental funds to make up the 2015-16 fiscal year budget.
Oren Spiegler, Upper St. Clair