HARRISBURG - The state House yesterday gave final approval to a bill that would allow Philadelphia to address its fiscal crisis by raising its sales tax and deferring pension payments. But the prospect of its passage in the Senate by Mayor Nutter's deadline of next week appeared bleak as Republican leaders reiterated their stance that the state budget must be resolved first.

Gov. Rendell yesterday urged Senate leaders to swiftly approve the bill and send it to his desk, saying it was "dead wrong" to tie it to an overall state budget deal, which has eluded lawmakers since July 1.

"It's an appropriate response to the Philadelphia crisis," said Rendell, adding that the General Assembly approved Pittsburgh's request for a commuter tax last year and it was not linked to the budget.

But Sen. Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware) said the final budget resolution's fiscal effect on the city - and the stark difference between the governor's and the Senate Republican's proposals - tie the city very closely with the state budget situation.

Pileggi said his caucus would prefer to deal with the "Philadelphia bailout plan" after a final budget resolution. He added that the Senate has had legislation - sponsored by Sen. Shirley Kitchen (D., Phila.) - for a city sales tax option and pension deferment plan for less than a week and that other counties also are clamoring for help.

"The other 66 counties are asking for relief in their pension situations and some are looking for a local [sales] tax option in a similar way to the City of Philadelphia," Pileggi said. "I don't know why we would pick Philadelphia out as a special case, other than the fact that the governor is from Philadelphia and has a special interest in Philadelphia's welfare."

Nutter, speaking at the Capitol, where he has spent three days lobbying lawmakers on the bill, praised the bipartisan group of Southeastern House members who supported it.

He said the next big hurdle is persuading the Senate to act before Aug. 15, when he said he will have to begin implementing what he calls his "doomsday budget." That action would mean cutting as many as 3,000 city workers, closing some city facilities, and reducing many services, including trash pickup.

Nutter said he met with Pileggi last week, and the senator was open to helping the city but told Nutter he must better communicate to him that the city is faced with a pressing deadline.

Nutter said the city's issue should not be caught up in state politics.

"It's pretty clear that there seems to be some effort to tie passage of a relatively simple bill, that will financially help Philadelphia but not cost the commonwealth a dime, to the larger, more complicated state budget negotiations, almost being held hostage to that process for no clear reason," Nutter said in an interview.

The Senate is in recess and does not return until Monday. Asked whether legislation would be voted on by Aug. 15, Pileggi said only that Senate Republicans and Democrats had "very specific and detailed" proposals for amendments to the legislation and that it was a process that would take time.

The House bill approved yesterday would allow Philadelphia to increase its sales tax from 7 to 8 percent for five years and defer by two years payments to city worker pensions.