It's not going to be as early a state budget as top Republican lawmakers had hoped, but Pennsylvania's second on-time spending plan in the past decade still looks like a solid bet.
The GOP majorities in each chamber are working with the governor's office to bridge a $500 million gap between their plans for next year's spending, which mostly involves differences for education and welfare.
Before they decide how much money to appropriate for the University of Pittsburgh or child-care assistance, negotiators say they must agree on the revenue the state can expect to gather in the year starting July 1. And they acknowledge that broader policy proposals, including education reform, also are on the table.
Most of that work is occurring behind closed doors -- and without Democrats, who are in the minority in the state House and Senate. Republican politicians and staffers met at least three days last week, with attendees reporting progress but no major victories so far.
First Published June 10, 2012 12:00 AM