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Budget Negotiations Continue, Work Still Needed

Harrisburg-Capitol-steps2State Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) and State House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) held a marathon meeting yesterday to discuss the budget impasse, but emerged without an agreement.  

According to the Patriot News, the meeting lasted 105 minutes but no deal was struck to pass a revenue package.  

“We’ll take into consideration what we talked about and see what direction we try to head.  We have some work to do yet,” Scarnati said after the meeting, according to the Patriot News.

Reports indicate that lawmakers are discussing multiple difference non-tax based solutions to fill the budget gap.  This includes putting the gross receipts tax on some public utilities, natural gas, and/or utilities, removing the sales tax exemption on cable television bills, expanding gambling in the state through different proposals.  

The state Senate has been called back for a second day in a row today, but has yet to take action on the budget.  State House Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny) is urging the leadership to call members back and finish the work on the budget.  

“Our budget work is not done and the citizens of the commonwealth need a resolution now,” Dermody told the Patriot News.  

State Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) said that if all goes well, the Senate will complete its business, including the revenue package, by Wednesday evening.

3 Responses

  1. This is GOP-speak: “non-tax based solutions” that all tax consumers more for items and services previously not taxed. Is there nothing sacred to language anymore? Do words have no meaning? Have we reached the doublespeak age of “1984”?

  2. How about revising the fiscal code to close the Allentown “NIZ” which is pouring $81 million a year of state revenues into the hands of the crony capitalist friend of a state senator?

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