HARRISBURG - Gov. Rendell and his cabinet are holding an emergency meeting to discuss $500 million in cuts he needs to make to his 2009-2010 budget.
Rendell is expected to once again detail the state's gloomy financial picture, including a continuing decline in revenues and a projected budget deficit of $3.2 billion. Just yesterday, the governor announced that he will be seeking legislative approval for a 16.5 percent increase in the state's personal income tax.
At the meeting, Rendell will likely make specific recommendations on what should be cut in each department, but then give cabinet secretaries the opportunity to come back with their own suggested cuts if they don't like his.
The meeting is open to the press.
Rendell is proposing to raise he income tax rate to 3.57 percent from 3.07 percent for three years to raise about $1.5 billion per year in new revenue.
One expert estimated that would total about $5 a week for a family making $50,000.
In 2003, Rendell's first year as governor, his administration persuaded the legislature to raise the income tax from 2.80 percent to 3.07 percent to fill a budget hole.