PA Lawmakers Still At Odds Over Taxing Shale To Fund Schools

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Democrats are calling on the leadership in Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled legislature to drop their opposition to an extraction tax on natural gas, to break the state’s budget stalemate.

Several Democratic senators and state representatives gathered at Upper Dublin High School, to call on Republican leaders to drop their opposition to a shale tax.

Democratic Senator Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia says shale drillers should pay.

“It’s only fair that they contribute.” says Hughes. “Especially at a time when our schools — many of our schools across the state of Pennsylvania are in severe crisis.”

But Jennifer Coker, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, says the Republican leadership has already presented Governor Wolf with an offer to fund schools.

“We said, Done. Here it is, if you give us our number-one priority which has been reforming the pension system in a meaningful way.”

The GOP leadership is reportedly preparing stopgap spending bills while the budget battle drags on.

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