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Rendell Calls For Meeting Over Natural Gas Tax

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Governor Rendell is ripping state Senate Republicans, accusing them of stalling efforts to pass a tax on the state’s fledgling natural gas drilling industry.

Legislative leaders set a deadline of October first to enact a natural gas “extraction” tax, a deadline that’s already passed. And with the end of the legislative session fast approaching Governor Rendell claims Senate majority Republicans are trying to run out the clock.

The governor says the House has done its part, sending the Senate a tax bill:

“But the Senate, since it received it, has done nothing but carp and criticize.”

Erik Arneson is a spokesman for Senate Republicans:

“We think negotiations have been very active. So again, if the governor has different perspective on that, maybe he needs to talk to his staff, maybe he needs to pick up the phone more often, but we’ve thought that things are proceeding at a good pace.”

Governor Rendell has called a meeting of legislative leaders Monday. But Senate Republican leaders say they won’t be available to meet in person until Tuesday, the first of what are scheduled to be the Senate’s final three days of the current session.

Reported by Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio

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