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PA Senate Returns Amid Renewed Optimism For Budget Resolution

HARRISBURG, PA (CBS) — The state Senate will be in the capitol Monday for a previously unscheduled session day amid signs of movement toward resolving a months-long budget stalemate.

The House was already scheduled to be in but the Senate chamber was supposed to be dark this week.

Last Thursday, the House majority leader told members to “pack for a long week” – indicating optimism about the direction of talks to reach an agreement on a revenue plan to fully fund the state budget.

Among the reasons for optimism he cited was the Senate’s plan to return Monday. But while also optimistic, Jennifer Kocher – spokeswoman for the Senate majority leader – adds a note of caution…

“We’ve had a lot of expectations over the last several months on how the budget would go and that we would be able to take a vote, and those haven’t necessarily panned out,” she said. “So, we’re always hopeful.”

Expanded gaming is expected to be one component of the revenue package. The House wants slots-like video gaming terminals; the Senate favors mini-casinos instead.

Sources say the compromise taking shape may involve elements of both.

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