House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) proposed a solution to fill the $2 billion budget gap without raising taxes, but the House failed to take action on the proposal during the session.
Part of the proposal involved borrowing $1.5 billion against Pennsylvania’s tobacco settlement money that is given to the state every year. Turzai said that proposal did was not well received by House Republicans.
“Our caucus had a robust discussion. Securitization is now something our caucus wants to do,” Turzai told WITF.
Turzai is now putting the pressure on the state Senate to create a solution that will pass both chambers.
“Now we’re now going to wait to see what the Senate R’s and D’s, what they are interested in doing.”
Turzai, who is also considering a run for Governor next year, called out Governor Tom Wolf to put go on the record about his tax proposal.
“We also would ask the governor to publicly state what he supports in terms of new taxes. If he’s not willing to do it and he wants to continue to be absent from leading, then he can have Representative Dermody or Senator Costa do it,” Turzai told the Patriot News.
Discussions about taxes have reportedly centered around expanding the gross receipts tax to natural gas users and getting rid of the sales tax exemption on basic cable plans.
The state Senate convenes today at 1 p.m.