Pennsylvania House sends its budget funding bill to the senate

News on 14 Sep 2017

The Pennsylvanian House has at last managed to pass a funding proposal for the state budget approved back in June this year, with politicians approving bill H 453 Wednesday night on a vote of 103 vs. 91, apparently disregarding an earlier Senate-approved bill the House has been sitting on for weeks.

The measure will now be sent to the Senate for its reaction to the House proposals, which were debated vigorously and at length in the late night House session.

Politicians in both the House and the Senate are under pressure following State Treasurer Joe Torsella’s warning that further borrowing from the state’s general fund is not possible, and that unless the funding legislation is approved by September 15 a freeze on state spending will be necessary.

However, Torsella has already qualified his warning by saying that if the Legislature can collectively get its act together and agree on a funding bill he may be able to release more cash from the general fund for a period limited to a few days.

From a gambling industry perspective, H 453 is presently vague but encouraging, allowing for $225 million in additional tax revenue from expanded gambling in the state but not detailing exactly what the expansion would entail, or whether it includes online gambling and daily fantasy sports as recommended by the Senate proposal.

Presumably the nitty-gritty of what is involved will emerge when the Senate starts examining the House proposal and trying to reconcile it with its own ideas.

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