HEADLINES : Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania legislature now focused on state budget
HARRISBURG -- With the primary campaigning done, Pennsylvania lawmakers will return to the Capitol today with one main agenda item for the remainder of their spring session -- completing the state budget.
There's a handful of other items also set to move forward in the state House of Representatives and Senate, dealing with business taxes, the unemployment compensation system, rules for charter schools and potentially even liquor sales.
But as the calendar turns to May, much of state government's attention will be squarely focused on the $27.1 billion proposed spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year.
Last summer marked the first time in nine years that the General Assembly and governor finalized a state budget before July 1, when the new fiscal year begins. The final pieces of legislation were approved late on June 30, and signed by Gov. Tom Corbett minutes before midnight.
"I believe we should start our conversation in a more focused way sooner," said Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, adding that doing so would allow officials "to finish in mid-June, not wait until the last hour of the last day."