Still, Corbett, a Republican, did not express disappointment. Instead, he sought to highlight the progress that had happened in a Legislature controlled by GOP allies on complicated legislation that was heavily lobbied by a wide variety of interest groups.
"So I can't be disappointed. I have to thank the people (in the Legislature) for what they did and I certainly encourage them when they get back in the fall," Corbett told reporters shortly after the signing the bill at 10:15 p.m. in his reception room flanked by House Republicans, but no senators or Democratic lawmakers. "Let's get it done. ... It's the end of the first quarter. We've got three more quarters to go."
The budget bill passed and Corbett acknowledged defeat, if just for a little while, on his wider agenda after a solid week of daily, private meetings with top Republican lawmakers, while he stayed largely out of view and lawmakers met in voting sessions.
More action in the Legislature is expected Monday and Tuesday as lawmakers work to pass budget-related legislation necessary to ensure money is available and direct how it is spent.
A 111-92 House vote along party lines on the budget bill followed the more bipartisan Senate approval of the $28.4 billion spending plan, a 2.6 percent increase over the 2012-13 budget approved last year. The 2013-14 fiscal year begins Monday.
The budget plan would increase spending by $719 million, largely for health care for the poor, social services, public employee pensions, prisons and public schools. It also cuts business taxes by about $300 million and does not increase the state's personal income or sales taxes.
Corbett said that "by spending with restraint, investing with care and keeping faith in the free-market system, we can continue that momentum toward prosperity."
The spending bill is $65 million less than what Corbett proposed in February, and assumes retirement and pension costs will be substantially lower than what Corbett had projected. Democrats had sought, unsuccessfully, to free up even more money for schools, job training and other programs by erasing business tax cuts and counting on savings by approving a federally funded expansion of Medicaid eligibility.
"While I still believe in government and the great things we can accomplish when we work together, what I have seen this week is government at its worst," Sen. LeAnna Washington, D-Philadelphia, said during her floor remarks. "Instead of investing in quality education, vital health and human services, and great family-sustaining jobs, we've been spending the week waiting for backroom deals to be cut."
Corbett outlined a three-part agenda in January and February—increased transportation funding, privatized wine and liquor sales and changes in public employee pension systems. But his pensions proposal made little headway in the state Legislature and a showdown between the House and Senate sank efforts on liquor and transportation legislation before lawmakers' summer break.
In a statement Sunday evening, Corbett asked the Senate and the House to immediately send the Senate's wine and liquor bill to his desk.
However, the House Republican majority was unable to muster enough votes to pass an approximately $2 billion transportation bill it wrote, in large part because conservatives opposed its increase in a wholesale fuel tax and Democrats viewed it as inadequate, particularly for mass transit systems.
Meanwhile, the Senate's Republican majority refused to approve a private wine and liquor sales bill without a commitment from House GOP leaders to send it to Corbett's desk unchanged and approve the Senate's biggest priority, a $2.5 billion transportation funding bill the chamber approved 45-5 earlier in June.
"Simply to send the (liquor) bill to the House with no assurance that it would go the governor's desk seems like a meaningless exercise," Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi said Sunday evening. "The other (concern) is the House does have a transportation bill that was sent to them that 45 members of the Senate are very concerned about and we'd like to see action on that bill."
In another sign of trouble, Pileggi said the House Republican transportation bill lacked support in the Senate.
"We don't think it's sufficient revenue," Pileggi said. "We think the bare minimum is what was in" the Senate plan.
The Senate also approved legislation to potentially expand Medicaid eligibility to hundreds of thousands of adult Pennsylvanians under the 2010 federal health care law. With staunch opposition among House Republicans, the issue could become a sticking point as lawmakers consider the other budget-related bills.