The fallout: With the budget dam broken, what's next for Pa's state government and politics?
Here's what Matt Fabian, a bond market analyst with Municipal Market Analytics, said about the proposed 2017-18 package Thursday:
"Deficit borrowing and gimmicks like fund transfers are bad by almost any measure.
"Were the Commonwealth's ratings already in a much stronger place, its chances of getting by without a (further) downgrade would be better. As it is, the ratings are fairly weak and this revenue budget raises the risk of downgrade above 50%."
Clearly the Wall Street types just don't get the Pennsylvania Legislature.
For the controlling forces here, it's not so much how you solve the budget, as it is can you solve it without raising taxes.
Even when that forces them into weirdly inconsistent policies like voting for new caps on government borrowing for capital projects even as they agreed to borrow to cover this year's deficit.
So by their measure, this budget is a win.