Gas Drilling Tops The Agenda As Pennsylvania Lawmakers Return

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Pennsylvania lawmakers return to the state capitol this week to begin the second year of their two-year legislative session with several major issues carrying over from year one.

Spokesmen for the majority leaders of the House and Senate agree that of four big-ticket items that were on the agenda last year — natural gas drilling, transportation funding, school vouchers and liquor privatization – the one with the best chance to get done in 2012 is gas drilling.

Erik Arneson, spokesman for the Senate majority leader, believes selling off state liquor stores is a longshot.

“I think that one is probably, as we sit here today, the furthest away.”

But Franklin and Marshall College political analyst Terry Madonna doesn’t give vouchers a better chance.

“Privatizing the liquor stores and doing school choice are probably the least likely of the four.”

Transportation funding could stand a better chance if Governor Corbett takes a position and there are some indications he could have something to say on the issue when he unveils his proposed budget next month, a budget likely to be another difficult one for lawmakers.

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