With a week to go before Pennsylvania’s state budget deadline, legislative leaders are holding several rounds of negotiations a day.
House Democrats have presented a 28.2 billion dollar spending plan to their Republican counterparts.
Their budget would include a 300 million dollar increase in basic education spending, which is 54 million dollars below Governor Rendell’s initial proposal.
Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati says Senate Republicans are backing a smaller budget.
"We certainly are in the basement of the number of spend – the 27.5. That’s not saying we can’t move that number somewhat, but we certainly are a world away from 29 billion, where the governor started."
House Speaker Keith McCall says the “next 24 hours are critical,” if legislators want to get a budget to Rendell by June 30.
"We don’t have an agreement on a particular number at this point. We’re going through the exercise of the macro of what the balance sheet would look like. They have a number, we have a number, and then the line items. And that’s the exercise we’re going through right now by putting together a budget line item by line item. When we have all that detail, when we have agreement on that, then we can take it to the caucus."
Leaders met three times yesterday including once with Governor Rendell.
Today they’ll present line item specifics of the Democratic and Republican spending plans to Governor Rendell.