- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The state House of Representatives on Monday advanced a bill to provide crucial revenue for the cash-strapped Philadelphia School District.

Without debate, lawmakers by a vote of 114-84 approved the bill to authorize a $2-a-pack cigarette tax in the city.

The bill has been stalled since June, even though both the House and Senate supported the tax authorization to provide $83 million a year to the state’s largest school district.

House and Senate Republican leaders had fought over other elements that included local hotel taxes and a small-city economic development program, but the latest version includes only the Philadelphia provision.

A Senate vote is not expected before Wednesday, said Erik Arneson, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware. Members of the GOP majority planned to discuss the legislation in caucus Tuesday.

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has said he would sign the measure.

The state already imposes a $1.60 cigarette excise tax.

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