Tonight is make or break, says Pileggi

The pizzas are being brought into Senate offices, as legislative leaders and their staff prepare for a long night of talks. Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says tonight is make or break, if lawmakers want to deliver a budget to Governor Rendell’s desk by June 30th. “If we can’t reach an agreement this evening we won’t have enough time to prepare a general appropriations bill for us to consider tomorrow,” the Republican told reporters a few minutes ago. “I’d say we’re making steady but excruciatingly slow progress. I hope to be here through the night as long as we’re making progress.”

And a June 30th budget isn’t just cosmetic. Pileggi says some of the concessions Senate Republicans have made – including a natural gas tax, according to Capitolwire and the Patriot News – are off the table once July hits. “All of the negotiations so far have been based on a final product being on the governor’s desk by June 30,” he said.  “If that does not happen all of those items are subject to renegotiation.”

I still haven’t spotted a House Democrat, despite numerous strolls past their offices. I’ll have an update ASAP, if that happens.

About pubradiopolitics
Scott covers state government and politics for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh.

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