Thursday, June 30, 2011

SB 330 and budget update 6/30/11 5:00 pm

Here's a late afternoon update; they are still haggling over SB330, the Act 1 exceptions elimination bill

Republicans battle over school-tax bill as Pennsylvania budget remains unsigned

Published: Thursday, June 30, 2011, 3:40 PM     Updated: Thursday, June 30, 2011, 3:48 PM
As lawmakers scrambled to finish up a package of budget bills Thursday, an 11th-hour dispute erupted among senior Republican lawmakers and fellow Republican Gov. Tom Corbett over a bill to further limit the ability of school boards to raise property taxes.
Signing the bill is a priority of Corbett's before the Republican-controlled Legislature closes session and lawmakers leave Harrisburg for their traditional two-month summer break.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said the sides were trying to iron out a disagreement over a key bill that the House was poised to send to the Senate today. But one of the changes in an amendment added to the bill by the House late Wednesday night caused ripples with Senate Republicans.
The amended bill would eliminate most existing exemptions from a so-called "back-end" referendum requirement for certain school property tax increases that exceed a rate similar to inflation. But it also would place too many restrictions on districts that have construction debt or need to erect new school buildings, Scarnati said.

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