- Associated Press - Friday, July 1, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Latest on budget developments in the Pennsylvania Legislature (all times local):

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6:10 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Legislature’s deep divide over tax increases is dragging out state budget negotiations.

House and Senate leaders sent rank-and-file members home Friday. Meanwhile, budget negotiators vowed to work into the weekend to get an agreement on more than $1 billion to balance Pennsylvania state government’s deficit-riddled finances.

Lawmakers have sent the main spending bill in a $31.5 billion budget package to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. But Wolf says he won’t sign it without sustainable revenues to fund it.

Democrats support a gross receipts tax on the natural gas that serves nearly 3 million households and businesses in Pennsylvania.

But House Republicans oppose it. They’re backing a $1.2 billion revenue proposal built on higher tobacco taxes, back taxes from tax delinquents, the expansion of legalized gambling and the expectation of brisker wine and liquor sales.

Democrats say it’ll take closer to $1.4 billion to close the gap, and accuse Republicans of overly optimistic projections.

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2:55 p.m.

Work on Pennsylvania state government’s budget for the day-old fiscal year may stretch into next week as lawmakers grapple with decisions about tax increases.

The Senate sent its members home Friday, as budget negotiators continued a quest to assemble more than $1 billion to balance Pennsylvania’s deficit-riddled finances.

A key element could be a gross receipts tax on the natural gas that serves nearly 3 million households and businesses in Pennsylvania.

Lawmakers have sent the main spending bill in a $31.5 billion budget to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk. But Wolf says he won’t sign it without sustainable revenues to fund it.

He’ll have 10 days to decide what to do with it. Meanwhile, legislative staffers are preparing hundreds of pages of budget-related bills, including charter school legislation that’s opposed by the Philadelphia School District.

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