House passes budget, but that doesn't mean we HAVE a budget

Yes, it's true. The Pennsylvania State House approved a state budget bill -- early! But there's really not much to that, in terms of the state having a budget earlly. The real action will come when the Democratic-controlled House gets to negotiating with the Republican-controlled Senate:

Led by Democrats eager to show they are serious about delivering a state budget on time, the House yesterday approved a $29 billion state budget bill and sent it to the Senate, where it is certain to face revisions by Republicans eager to rein in spending.

The bill largely mirrors the budget that Gov. Rendell presented last month. It would boost spending about 4 percent, even though Republicans warn that Pennsylvania's lagging tax collections threaten to tilt the plan out of balance by hundreds of millions of dollars.

John Baer talks to some of the main players about the budget's prospects. His bottom line: "there's no chance whatsoever that what the House did yesterday becomes this year's state spending plan." Well then.

We suppose the question now is how, specifically, the bill will change going forward. Hopefully we'll have more on that soon.

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