By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — As budget negotiations heat up a week before the deadline, leaders of the Republican-controlled legislature are sending out some mixed signals on their position.

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On Monday, the House speaker and the top Republican in the Senate stressed the importance of public employee pension reform and liquor privatization as part of a package of budget legislation. But on Tuesday, a much more mellow Dave Reed, the House Republican leader, downplayed the role of liquor privatization as a linchpin to a budget deal.

“Look, liquor can be pushed aside. It can be taken off the table as part of a final budget discussion.”

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It is unclear if GOP leaders’ position on pension reform has changed from Monday, when the Senate leader called it the “cornerstone” of moving the budget forward.

Reed, meanwhile, says House Republican leaders are nearing an agreement with their counterparts in the Senate on liquor privatization.

Governor Wolf has said repeatedly he favors modernizing liquor sales but not getting rid of state stores.

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