It looks like Pennsylvania elected leaders will not have to trim $850 million from the budget they just okayed a month ago.
By a 61-38 margin the U.S. Senate broke a Republican filibuster on a package of federal aid to states. Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both of Maine, joined with Democrats to support the $26 billion package of medicaid reimbursement and education funding. Pennsylvania's budget was banking on $850 million in in federal aid (FMAP) from this package. Governor Ed Rendell had said that if the Senate did not okay the measure by tomorrow, he would start making spending cuts with layoffs to begin in September. However, the bill contains less money that the original FMAP legislation. Pennsylvania would get $600 million instead of $850 million. So, some spending cuts will still have to be made. The legislation still needs final approval by the Senate and the House but that's expected.