The PA state budget: GOP lawmakers put a date on it

And that would be June 13.

At least, that's what two high-level Republican legislators seem to think.

Earlier today, Sen. Jake Corman (R., Centre), who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, said he believes the budget will be put to bed by then, breaking a multi-year tradition of pushing it right up to -- and well beyond -- the July 1 start of a new fiscal year.

"It's always good to have goals in life," he quipped at the monthly press club luncheon in Harrisburg.

Not more than an hour later, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny) made the same prediction to reporters.

Getting the budget done early? That would be a first for this last decade. The budget never - not even once - passed by the July 1 deadline when Ed Rendell was governor. And last year, despite the governor's office and both legislative chambers being controlled by Republicans, the budget was signed into law with only 13 minutes to spare.

To those who haven't been following, here's where the budget stands now: Gov. Corbett proposed his $27.1 billion blueprint in February, containing steep cuts to higher education and some programs for the poor, elderly and disabled.

The Senate made changes to it - restoring about $500 million in cuts - and has passed it to the House, which could begin considering it as early as this week.


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