The word was still no budget deal, as Republican legislative leaders left an evening meeting with the governor to continue negotiations on a state spending plan.
Lawmakers said they felt that the remaining issues were being narrowed down, and that agreement still could be reached this week.
"We moved ahead very well today," said Senate Appropriations Chairman Jake Corman, R-Centre. "Staff are working on some proposals tonight. We'll put them on paper, and see where we are tomorrow."
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, told reporters throughout the day that an agreement would be needed by Thursday in order to keep to the June 30 deadline. There's some flexibility through methods for fast-tracking bills, but a lengthy debate is expected over one measure where Democrats say they'll attempt to work in a shale drilling fee.
Some discussion remains for certain welfare and education line-items, as well as on a handful of less-costly programs that individual lawmakers want to see receive more funds.
But some consensus seems to be forming around a $27.149 billion spending plan. Corman said that figure wouldn't include about $300 million in programs paid for with the state's annual tobacco lawsuit payment, which traditionally has not been included in talking about the state's general spending plan.
Despite having only a week left to sort out the remaining differences and get the bills to his desk, Gov. Tom Corbett was optimistic.
"I believe if the Legislature puts its mind to it, they can get it done," Corbett told a KDKA reporter. "I certainly want them to get it done."
Photo via fiveprime.org/hivemind