We're still a long way from knowing what Gov.-elect Christopher J. Christie's first budget will look like, but we at least have a pretty good idea of when he'll be telling us: March 16.

A bill that cleared the Senate last week would set that date, a Tuesday, as the deadline for Christie's first budget speech to the Legislature. By law, the budget address is usually due by the fourth Tuesday in February (the 23rd next year) but the Legislature typically gives new governors an extension.

Of course, Christie could choose to give his speech before the March 16 deadline, but given the more than $8 billion deficit he will face, it's a pretty good bet he'll take all the time he has.

The extension still has to win Assembly approval, and so far there is not a companion bill there.

Click here for Philly.com's politics page.