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Pa. Legislature Sends Corbett a Spending Plan, Even As Budget Work Continues

(Heads of Pennsylvania's public-funded universities pose behind Gov. Tom Corbett this morning in Harrisburg.  Credit: Tony Romeo)

(Heads of Pennsylvania’s public-funded universities pose behind Gov. Tom Corbett this morning in Harrisburg. Credit: Tony Romeo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The Pennsylvania state senate today sent Gov. Corbett a spending bill for the new fiscal year that begins Sunday.

But work on the budget is not likely to be completed until Saturday.

Corbett was joined today by the heads of universities that receive state money as he celebrated the improved revenue picture that allowed the restoration of school funding cuts he proposed last February.

“I would hope for the future everybody understands the first time the governor issues a budget address, that’s a draft. And I’m going to keep using that word, because we don’t know where the money is going to be,” he said today.

But state senate minority leader Jay Costa, an Allegheny County Democrat, suggests that the governor only reluctantly embraced the budget restorations.

“Getting this governor to spend more to address key needs in education and social safety programs has, in fact, been very difficult,” Costa says.

While a bill that sets spending levels is now ready to be signed, other bills that make up the complete budget package are not likely to be approved until hours before the Saturday night deadline.