By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa, (CBS) — Bills in the state legislature that are critical to Mayor Nutter’s initiatives were advanced by a state Senate committee yesterday, but time is running out for action before lawmakers’ scheduled summer recess on Sunday.

The state Senate Finance Committee approved a package of bills designed to blunt the impacts of the city’s overhaul of property taxes and a measure that would allow the city to tax cigarettes to raise funds for the school district.

But Erik Arneson, spokesman for the Senate majority leader, says members have questions about the bills.

“Several were concerned about the fact that we were giving Philadelphia tools that we were not giving to other areas,” Arneson said. “And whether or not the tools were appropriate for any area in the case of the cigarette tax and some of the other bills.”

The result, Arneson says, is that it is unclear whether the bills will get to the governor before summer recess, especially the cigarette tax measure which is much farther behind in the process.

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