HARRISBURG - Penn State and several other Pennsylvania universities will get their state subsidies that are nearly six months overdue, but hundreds of state government employees could lose their jobs if a casino-expansion measure continues to flounder in the Legislature.

Gov. Rendell yesterday approved more than $700 million in university subsidies to avoid losing nearly $2 billion in federal stimulus aid for Pennsylvania that is contingent on the state maintaining its financial support for education.

But he said he will have to lay off a minimum of 1,000 more state employees unless the Legislature passes a bill by Jan. 8. The measure, a key element of October's state budget agreement, is supposed to raise $200 million by legalizing casino table games and diverting another $50 million from existing slot-machine gambling tax revenue.

"It's my hope that this is a circumstance that we won't ever have to reach, but the Legislature is on notice," Rendell said.