Gov. Rendell signed the state budget on Oct. 9, 101 days late. But as Christmas approaches, the budget still isn't quite a done deal.

The House failed on Thursday to hold a debate on table games at casinos, leaving several universities, hospitals and museums without $730 million in funding. For those institutions, at least, the state budget is now 164 days late and counting.

There are only a few session days remaining before legislators' take an undeserved holiday break, raising the possibility that they won't finish this final piece of budget business before the new year.

As government watchdog Tim Potts noted, the legislature could provide nearly all the funding needed for state-related universities just by dipping into their reserves for pork-barrel projects and their slush funds for House and Senate leaders. Those two pots total at least $250 million.

But don't hold your breath.