Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and legislative leaders have hammered out a budget agreement, one day before the June 30th deadline.
The 28.05 billion dollar spending plan includes a 250 million dollar increase in basic education spending, but Governor Rendell says most departments will experience cuts.
"For the Agriculture Department, their budget was cut by 11.7 percent. For Environmental Protection Department, 9.2 percent. For Conservation and Natural Resources, 11 percent. For State Parks, 7.3 percent."
More details will emerge tonight, when the Senate Appropriations Committee votes on the spending bill. That will set the stage for a full Senate vote tomorrow morning.
If the measure passes the upper chamber it goes to the House, where members would need to suspend their rules in order to vote on the bill by midnight Wednesday.
Rendell says both parties have agreed to pass a natural gas severance tax by October 1st. The levy would go into effect in January, 2011. The governor says there wasn’t enough time to work out the tax’s details before the budget deadline.