Scarnati: Unsure How Senate Will Close Budget Gap
According to City & State, Scarnati said “how we close this out is yet to be seen.”
There are some ideas that have been floated, but do not show much chance of passing the Senate.
The House passed a gaming expansion bill two weeks ago, but the bill does not have much support in the Senate.
“My experience with gaming in the Senate Republican Caucus, I can boil down real simply: You have a third of the members of the Senate Republican Caucus who oppose gaming because they oppose gaming. You have a third of them that have a gaming interest within their district, so they’re somewhat not in favor of competition for casinos. Then, you’ve got a third of the members in our caucus that could be influenced one way or another to vote for something. There’s no strong consensus and, when you start off with two-thirds of your caucus either principally against it or certainly economically opposed to something, it’s difficult. That’s why we’re where we’re at,” Scarnati told reporters.
Other ways to close the gap include leasing state property or borrowing against state assets to close the gap. Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman does not think that plan has not been really pushed or developed by anybody.
“That’s certainly been suggested in some corners, and we are working through that possibility, but we are nowhere near landed on it,” Corman said.
Republicans are saying that any broadbased tax increases are off the table to close the gap.
“It goes without saying that tax increases – new taxes – are even difficult to discuss,” Scarnati said.