Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Rendell and furloughs

A double byline for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

HARRISBURG — A showdown over Gov. Ed Rendell’s threat to furlough more than 24,000 state workers on July 1 is set for Tuesday.

A Republican state senator will grill administration officials about the threatened furloughs of “noncritical” employees if a state budget is not in place by June 30.

During a budget impasse with Republican legislators last year, Rendell furloughed nearly 25,000 state workers on July 9, resulting in a one-day closure of state parks, driver’s license centers and state environmental permitting services.

That move contributed to a budget agreement signed into law seven days later. Critics called the furloughs unnecessary and said Rendell used them as leverage to get a state spending plan more to his liking.

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