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Budgetless Pennsylvania shuts down

July 09, 2007|From Associated Press

HARRISBURG, PA. — Gov. Ed Rendell ordered numerous state government services shut down and placed about a third of the state workforce on indefinite unpaid furlough after last-minute negotiations failed to break a budget stalemate late Sunday.

Appearing outside his Capitol office, Rendell said that the shutdown would go forward but that he and legislators would continue to work toward a deal.

"Let me say to our hardworking and dedicated state employees: We worked as hard as we could today," Rendell said.

But, he said, negotiations and consideration of his priorities -- which he maintains must be passed along with a spending plan -- began too late.

Pennsylvanians will be unable to take driver's license tests, state-run museums will be closed, and casinos will stop taking bets today.

Highway maintenance and some permitting and licensing functions will be stopped or curtailed, and the lights illuminating the Capitol's dome are to be turned off.

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