Brad Bumsted's latest column wraps up some of the more absurd rhetoric coming from the Rendell administration about the Senate version of the Pennsylvania budget:
- The bill "threatens juvenile delinquency and crime prevention efforts," the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency said.
- It would "cripple production in agriculture," Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said.
- Pennsylvania communities "face the prospect of dirtier water, weakened flood protection, and swarms of biting inspects that could potentially carry the deadly West Nile virus," the Department of Environmental Protection said.
- The bill "would wreak havoc on (the) veterans' home system," displace 300 veterans and "possibly" force closure of a veteran's home, the Pennsylvania National Guard warned. (Sen. Lisa Baker, a Republican, responded it was "completely out of line with the fiscal facts" and "needlessly alarmed veterans and their families.")
- SB 850 would "cripple the tourism industry," DCED said in a curtain call.
- It would lead to the closure of at least 35 state parks, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said. ("Scare tactics," the GOP said.)
- The most sweeping indictment came from the Department of Health, warning the bill "threatens the health of millions of Pennsylvanians" by restricting or eliminating vital health care.
- And it would be "devastating" for school districts, students and taxpayers, Education Secretary Gerald Zahorchak warned.