Saying he thinks there is no chance of a table games bill reaching his desk, Gov. Rendell has ordered his cabinet secretaries to begin the process of reducing their staffs.
When asked at a news conference this afternoon what the chances were of the legislature passing table games bill, Rendell said "nil."
Rendell last week threatened to layoff 1,000 more state workers if no gambling bill was on his desk by Jan. 8. The bill -agreed to as part of the state budget the governor signed in October - would produce $250 million that Rendell said is needed to keep the government running.
"I wouldn't be asking our secretaries to go through the exercise of preparing for layoffs if I had confidence" that the House and Senate can reach agreement on a bill, he said.
The two chambers broke for the holiday last week without hashing out differences over the legislation. Among the sticking points: whether to add another category three - or resort license - and how to distribute gambling proceeds in Philadelphia.
Rendell said with continued declining revenues and no gambling bill he might have to consider further cuts to state agencies and entities that receive state money.
Rendell also mentioned the possibility of closing state parks, the state museums and eliminating some discretionary grants.
Nearly 800 state government jobs have been cut this year as a result of the budget crisis and another 1,800 state jobs went unfilled.