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Busy Week For State Lawmakers As Final Session Begins In Pennsylvania

(credit: KYW's Tony Romeo)

(credit: KYW’s Tony Romeo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG (CBS) — The Pennsylvania legislature has a full plate as lawmakers return to the capitol on Monday for the final session days before summer recess at the end of the week.

First and foremost is the budget, due by Saturday. But Erik Arneson, spokesman for Chester Republican Dominic Pileggi, the Senate majority leader, says there’s also a “to do” list from Governor Tom Corbett, at the top of which is a package of tax credits that is part of an effort to lure a petrochemical plant to be built in Beaver County.

“I think there’s broad support for the ethane cracker tax credit in the House and Senate,” Arneson says. “Clearly, it’s very important to the governor. At this point, we don’t have any reason that it won’t pass.”

But there’s also a long list of other items the governor wants action on, including prison and education reforms, an expansion of a program that provides tax credits for businesses that contribute to scholarships for children, and a bill backed by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati that would require proof of legal residency in the US in order to get state benefits.

“There will be dozens up dozens of bills sent to the governor this week,” Arneson points out. “Senator Scarnati’s bill dealing with public benefits for illegal immigrants is on the list of likely contenders.”

Legislation for Philadelphia hangs in the balance as well, including renewal of the city’s red light camera program that expires on Saturday.

Friday is scheduled to be the last session day before lawmakers return in the fall.