- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Latest on the Pennsylvania Legislature’s session (all times local):

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4:30 p.m.

A $1.3 billion revenue package is through the Pennsylvania Legislature and on its way toward the desk of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 28-22 on Wednesday, minutes after the House voted 116-75 on a just-unveiled tax bill negotiated between Wolf and top lawmakers. Wolf’s signature could happen within hours.

Budget negotiators say the election-year tax increase is necessary to balance the state’s deficit-riddled budget.

The package is split between tax increases and one-time infusions of money, including a $200 million loan from a state medical malpractice insurance fund.

It includes a $1 per-pack tax increase on cigarettes, to $2.60 per pack, and an extension of the state’s 6 percent sales tax to digital downloads of music, videos, books and apps. It also counts on $100 million from pending legislation to make Pennsylvania the fourth state to legalize online gambling.

State government is operating under a $31 billion spending bill that lacks the tax collections to sustain it.

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4:20 p.m.

A $1.3 billion revenue package is advancing in the Pennsylvania Legislature toward the desk of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

The Republican-controlled House voted 116-75 on Wednesday on a just-unveiled tax bill negotiated between Wolf and top lawmakers. Senate passage and Wolf’s signature could happen within hours.

Budget negotiators say the election-year tax increase is necessary to balance the state’s deficit-riddled budget.

The package is split between tax increases and one-time infusions of money, including a $200 million loan from a state medical malpractice insurance fund.

It includes a $1 per-pack tax increase on cigarettes, to $2.60 per pack, and an extension of the state’s 6 percent sales tax to digital downloads of music, videos, books and apps. It also counts on $100 million from pending legislation to make Pennsylvania the fourth state to legalize online gambling.

State government is operating under a $31 billion spending bill that lacks the tax collections to sustain it.

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2:20 p.m.

A $1.3 billion revenue package is headed toward up-or-down votes in the Pennsylvania House and Senate.

A committee of six top lawmakers voted unanimously on a just-unveiled tax bill as leaders hope to win final votes on an election-year tax increase necessary to balance the state’s deficit-riddled budget.

The package is split between tax increases and one-time infusions of money, including a $200 million loan from a state medical malpractice insurance fund.

It includes a $1 per-pack tax increase on cigarettes, to $2.60 per pack, and an extension of the state’s 6 percent sales tax to digital downloads of music, videos, books and apps. It also counts on $100 million from pending legislation to make Pennsylvania the fourth state to legalize online gambling.

State government is operating under a $31 billion spending bill that lacks the tax collections to sustain it, and lawmakers are scrambling to fix that before there’s a lawsuit or bond downgrade.

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7 a.m.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are to return to the Capitol to take what leaders hope will be final votes on an election-year tax increase necessary to balance the state’s deficit-riddled budget.

Wednesday votes are expected on a $1.3 billion revenue package that’s still under wraps as lawmakers work out final details.

It is expected to include a $1 per-pack tax increase on cigarettes, to $2.60 per pack, and an extension of the state’s 6 percent sales tax to digital downloads of music, videos, books and apps.

State government is operating under a $31 billion spending bill that lacks the tax collections to sustain it, and lawmakers are scrambling to fix that before there’s a lawsuit or bond downgrade.

There’s also closed-door wrangling over Republican efforts to create avenues for charter school expansions.


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