HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf said Friday that he and Republican leaders have agreed on how they will distribute an additional $350 million to state schools once the long-overdue state budget is enacted - a key issue as budget negotiations enter their final phase.
Still, by day's end, that revelation - which legislative leaders did not comment on - stood as the only new development in the five-month-old impasse, as lawmakers declined to detail any progress following a day of closed-door meetings in the Capitol.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) would say only, "We are coming back in tomorrow morning," which both the House and Senate had been scheduled to do anyway.
Rep. Mike Vereb (R., Montgomery) described the House Republican meeting Friday as "very productive," but offered no specifics.
"This was going down everything that's been talked about to give members a chance to [share] their feelings," he said.
Wolf and Republican leaders have touted a tentative framework agreement on the $30 billion budget for more than a week, but since then, even rank-and-file lawmakers have grown frustrated with the lack of additional details.
The framework calls for a boost in education spending, a broader sales tax, plus changes to the state's liquor and pension systems.
During a radio interview with KQV-AM in Pittsburgh early Friday, Wolf was asked about the so-called school funding formula, which has been considered one of the budget's more contentious items. Wolf said that "the leadership and I have agreed on a lot of those details" for how the funds eventually would be distributed, although he declined to offer any specifics.
The governor also added a note of caution, saying that other key components of the budget - including changes to the state pension and liquor systems, as well as an expansion of the state sales tax - still were being negotiated, meaning that each piece of the plan could change.
"None of it is finished until the votes come in," he said.
The state has been without a budget since July 1. During that time, school districts, nonprofits, and counties have borrowed or cut to stay afloat while awaiting their typical share of state aid.
While Wolf and the Republican-controlled legislature previously agreed to send an additional $350 million to basic education as part of this year's spending plan, questions remained about how that money would be distributed.
Republicans had been expected to favor a funding formula unveiled by a bipartisan commission this year, while Wolf and many Democrats had called for implementing that formula only after a chunk of the new money was sent to school districts, such as Philadelphia's, whose funding was cut during the Corbett administration.
Wolf did not go into detail about what led to the breakthrough on the issue, but said, "As far as I know, everything has been agreed to" regarding the funding formula.
Lawmakers were scheduled to work through the weekend to continue discussion on the budget, but it was not clear when either chamber might begin moving budget-related legislation.