Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed a state budget plan into law at the eleventh hour last night.
The $27.7 billion dollar spending plan was approved with minutes to spare as budget negotiations continued very close to the cusp of the new fiscal year that began at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
Most of the budget legislation was negotiated by Republican leadership and passed by GOP majorities in both chambers of the legislature. The House passed the budget plan earlier this week, and the Senate approved the measure on Friday. However, the governor had to wait before he could sign the measure because several-budget-related bills weren't passed until Saturday night.
Proposed funding cuts to pre-kindergarten education and to higher education were partially restored, but several human services programs will sustain funding decreases this year.
A bipartisan provision of the budget provides tax breaks for the petrochemical industry in Pennsylvania, as part of a plan to woo Royal Dutch Shell to build an ethane "cracker" gas refinery in Beaver County.