HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania state lawmakers are returning today to the Capitol for a sixth-straight day as the Republican majority seeks to wrap up an on-time state budget and secure victories for Gov. Tom Corbett’s legislative agenda.
But time is running short.
The new fiscal year begins Monday, and House and Senate leaders have yet to strike agreements on major legislation to allow the private sale of wine and liquor and generate billions of dollars for roads, bridges and mass transit agencies primarily by increasing motor fuel taxes.
The House and Senate were each scheduled to resume voting sessions at 1 p.m.
In the House, a vote was possible on transportation legislation, but the chamber’s Republican leaders on Friday were still trying to cobble together at least half of the caucus to join Democrats in supporting a bill.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans were poised to advance a $28.3 billion budget bill after going into the early morning hours of Saturday to secure a key vote on a bill to privatize wine and liquor sales over the objections of Democrats. The bill still needs full House and Senate approval to reach Corbett’s desk.
The two issues are indirectly linked: Senate Republicans have made a transportation bill a top priority while House GOP leaders helped lead efforts to privatize the state-controlled liquor and wine system.