HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The Pennsylvania House and Senate have now both passed a bill authorizing a new state budget. But the Senate made changes to the budget bill passed by the House Tuesday, and a spokesman for the House majority leader says those changes will have to be reviewed.
While it would appear the state is not headed for the kind of long, torturous standoff that characterized last year’s budget battle, questions remain. The biggest question is even if the House approves Senate changes to the budget bill, and the governor agrees to it, how will it be paid for?
“We have a number of ideas that have been floated out there for the past year and a half,” said Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny County). “So we will go back and examine that. But our highest priority was to get a general appropriation budget done, and then figure out what our numbers were with respect to what we needed to get to, to be able to fund that particular budget.”
Among the ideas that have been floated are increased taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products. The House has already sent the Senate a bill that would raise revenue by expanding gambling, including Internet gaming.