Harrisburg – The best result of the “bridge budget” signed by Governor Rendell will be the resumption of stipend payments to state employees on active duty with the military, according to Senator Lisa Baker.
Baker, a leading legislative advocate on military and veterans matters, regards the stipend payments as “a high obligation of Pennsylvania” and was critical of the decision by state officials to withhold the payments during the budget deadlock.
“There are hundreds of individuals who are sacrificing family and professional interests and putting themselves at risk to protect us and to serve our nation. It was extremely unfortunate and unnecessary for them to be caught up in a political debate,” Baker said.
“People cannot understand why state government would stop payments to individuals serving in Iraq or Afghanistan while continuing to pay inmates sitting in correctional institutions. There is simply no sense, logic, or fairness to it,” she pointed out.
Baker will be looking into legislation to ensure that those in military service are not held hostage during future budget disputes.
Contact: Jennifer Wilson