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Pa. Legislature Leaves Philadelphia School Bailout Funds Hanging in Limbo

By Tony Romeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Final work on the Pennsylvania budget will go into a second week of overtime, and maybe beyond, as the result of differences between the state House and Senate over one of the "companion" bills that make up the state budget package.

And as a result, a big chunk of cash for Philadelphia schools hangs in the balance (see related story).

The general spending bill has been signed (another related story), but still unfinished is what's known as the Fiscal Code.  The state senate yesterday amended that measure and sent it back to the House.
"It's a manageable issue to deal with the delay of a few weeks," says state senator Dominic Pileggi (R-Chester), the majority leader.

But despite earlier having portrayed the budget as being on time, the Corbett administration released a statement yesterday saying the situation "could have significant implications."

The matter is of even bigger importance in Philadelphia, because language authorizing $45 million in federal spending for Philadelphia schools is contained in the Fiscal Code.

The state senate has already indicated it has no plans to act before fall on legislation to enhance property tax collections and provide another $30 million for city schools.

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