Before the blog gets taken over with President Obama's appearance at CMU, here's the latest from Harrisburg:
- Light has appeared at the end of the state budget tunnel, with legislative leaders saying last night that the "framework" of an agreement was in place. That's a fancy phrase for some stage between "we're making progress" and "here's the plan in bill form", but it does appear to be movement from earlier in the week. Enough so that both chamber will be back on Sunday, with the Senate set to start moving an updated spending plan and send it to the House on Monday.
- The state Senate has left town, but the House is still here, possibly debating a tort reform measure today that Gov. Corbett is anxiously waiting to see on his desk. And House GOP members are finally caucusing on the various shale tax/fee proposals, in an effort to decide how to handle next week's expected attempts to add a drilling fee into the budget bills.
- And if those House members look a little sleepy, it's because they stayed on the floor last night nearly until their 11 p.m. procedural curfew in order to approve a voter ID bill. That measure, which passed 108-88, would require state voters to show photo ID before casting a ballot. It now awaits consideration in the Senate.