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PA Senate Mulls Lawsuit Over Corbett Vetoes

(Gov. Tom Corbett, accompanied by Pennsylvania budget secretary Charles Zogby, speaks with reporters after signing but vetoing portions of the new state budget.   Photo by Tony Romeo)

(Gov. Tom Corbett, accompanied by Pennsylvania budget secretary Charles Zogby, speaks with reporters after signing but vetoing portions of the new state budget. Photo by 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, Pa. (CBS) — While the US House has voted to sue President Obama for allegedly overstepping is authority, Governor Corbett could find himself in the same situation – as the target of a lawsuit brought by a state Senate controlled by his own Republican party.

The legislature passed a budget bill, and a companion bill called the fiscal code that specifies how some money in the budget bill is spent.

For example, the budget bill may authorize a certain amount of spending for hospitals, while the fiscal code may detail which hospitals get how much and for what.

Governor Corbett line-item vetoed portions of the budget bill, which he has the authority to do. But he also line-item vetoed parts of the fiscal code.

Erik Arneson, spokesman for the Senate majority leader, says that is unprecedented.

“This is a fundamental, constitutional separation of powers issue,” he said. “What can a governor…line-item veto.”

Senate Republicans have already hired outside counsel to advise them and last week they asked the state treasurer to weigh in on the matter.

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