The foxholes have been dug. The soldiers are prepped for battle. A legion of onlookers will be on hand. Harrisburg as we approach the final 48 hours of the current fiscal year, you say? No, silly, we’re talking about Gettysburg, which will feature a bunch of neat activities this weekend to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s most famous battle.
Harrisburg will host its own Battle Royale this weekend, and people may still be sorting it out 150 years later as well. There is little to say definitively at this point about the important budget and policy issues that are in play as the fiscal year ticks down. The budget seems to be teed up and ready for final action. Transportation funding, liquor privatization and pension reform, not so much. Several of these issues could coalesce on Sunday for final disposition. Or not.
The House Transportation Committee produced an amended funding bill that lops a half-billion off the Senate’s original $2.5 billion package. It passed with a bipartisan 16-9 vote in committee, but whether $2 billion is the magic number for attracting enough Democrats and keeping enough Republicans in the fold remains to be seen. The difference between the original and pared-down versions represents a swing of less than 50 cents per week for a typical driver.