HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania House members spent most of Monday behind closed doors discussing what changes, if any, they might seek to make to budget-related bills passed by the Senate and supported by Gov. Wolf.
"We're going through everything," said Stephen Miskin, spokesman for House Republicans. He declined to identify which areas members were studying.
Still, lawmakers were hopeful that a final deal could be passed this week, Miskin said, meaning votes on major budget-related legislation - such as a spending bill or education code - could start as soon as Wednesday.
Any attempts at major alterations to the $30.8 billion so-called framework agreement announced last month by Senate Republicans and Wolf were almost certain to meet resistance.
"I'm done. I'm committed to the framework," Wolf said Monday afternoon when asked if he would accept House changes.
His comments came amid a day with little official action taken to resolve the five-month stalemate. At one point, more attention seemed focused on a ceremonial tree-lighting in the Capitol rotunda.
The Senate approved most pieces of the framework last week, but House lawmakers have complained that the upper chamber has not disclosed which taxes it will have to impose or raise.
Wolf has deflected questions on that topic as well, repeating refrains about the need to pass a budget that adheres to the framework - a $350 million boost to education funding, plus changes to the pension and liquor systems.
A final deal would require the House to approve the bills passed by the Senate, or amend them to reflect changes that the Senate and Wolf could accept.
The House did pass two smaller pieces of budget-related legislation on Monday: the Welfare Code and Administrative Code.
The state has been without a budget since July 1, forcing nonprofits, counties, and school districts to borrow money or make cuts to stay open without state aid. Last week, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said school districts had borrowed a combined $900 million during the impasse.