Senate eyes House budget plan that's short of what it wanted

Written by Marc Levy, The Associated Press | Oct 23, 2017 10:38 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Amid a four-month budget standoff, the Pennsylvania Senate is returning to the Capitol to confront a House budget-balancing plan that falls well short of what Senate leaders and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf had sought.

Monday's session day could start a long week for senators.

The budget fight largely revolves around the size of a tax increase to help plug Pennsylvania's deficit-riddled finances. That's pitting Wolf and the Senate against the House Republican majority. The sides are agreeing to borrow more than $1 billion to help backfill the deficit.

But House Speaker Mike Turzai canceled session this week, indefinitely postponing debate on legislation he opposes to tax Marcellus Shale natural gas production. Wolf's urging the House to pass it.

The Senate is also eyeing legislation to authorize a big expansion of casino-style gambling.

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