COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and legislative leaders are hunkering in for a long weekend in working to strike a last-minute accord on the state operating budget.

Any suggestions that a deal was imminent, potentially permitting Friday votes in the House and Senate, were nowhere to be found Thursday.

A less-than-optimistic House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, canceled a scheduled 7 p.m. Friday session and told members to stand by for sessions on Saturday and possibly Sunday.

The speaker said he even has drafted an amendment to extend the current operating budget for 14 days beyond Monday's start of the state's new fiscal year to keep the government running while budget talks continue.

After meeting with Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, and Householder on Thursday, DeWine told The Dispatch, "I don’t think we need that … we’re close. We should be able to get a budget … I think we owe that to the people."

Ohio had not had an interim budget since 2009, under then-Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, during the great recession, and it lasted 10 days. The previous interim state budget came in 1991.

As wrangling continued over the near $69 billion two-year state spending plan to resolve nearly nearly 600 differences between the House and Senate, Householder was displeased.

“I was very optimistic a week ago. Every minute that passes I’m less optimistic," he said following session Thursday. “It looks like Saturday and Sunday are days we’re going to have to be in session — and hope it comes together.”

Fueling the differences are the Senate diverting $125 million in House aid for low-income students to voucher programs for private schools and payments to generally well-to-do suburban schools. High school graduation requirements and state takeovers of academically failing school districts also are in play, although neither may wind up in the final document.

The House would markedly slash the value of a $1.2 billion annual income tax break for small business owners and sole proprietors while the Senate voted to restore much of it. The House wants a 6.6-percent across-the-board income tax cut; the Senate 8 percent over two years.

"We had about $220 million in tax cuts in the House. When the bill went to the Senate they came up with another $700 million," Householder said, apparently including restoration of much of the small business income tax cut. "I have a concern about the sustainability of it when the economy changes in Ohio. I’ve been through a rough budget or two when times weren’t nearly as good as they are now.”

Obhof was not as expansive, but signaled he fully expects at least his Saturday, if not Sunday, to be spent at the Statehouse to deliver a budget to DeWine. He, too, has set possible sessions for both days of the weekend.

DeWine said, "I anticipate a full weekend, a busy weekend. But, there's no reason we wouldn't get a budget this weekend.

"We have some disagreement over taxes, maybe some disagreement about how things are accomplished, but the good news is there is no disagreement about the goals ... and this is bipartisan."