Thousands of Pennsylvania state employees – including workers in the state park system – who were sent home without pay were allowed to return to their jobs Tuesday (July 10), a day after the governor and legislators hammered out a budget deal.
The Associated Press reported that the nearly 24,000 government employees were furloughed for a day and state parks, state-run museums and driver-license offices closed during a partisan deadlock that held up a state spending plan nine days into the new fiscal year.
After weeks of sharp rhetoric and days of frantic negotiations, both Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell and Republican legislators claimed victory on their objectives as the deal was announced Monday night.
The budget total was estimated at $27.37 billion, close to what Democrats had proposed, an increase of less than 4%.
The closures left many Pennsylvanians seething, including Kay George, 53, of Philadelphia, who had to leave Black Moshannon State Park when it was closed Monday.
“I don’t care about getting my money back, I just want my vacation,” said George, putting her canoe atop her SUV.