Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sen. Corman: Gaming Bill Next Week, Budget Spend Number About The Same As The House

Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) told the media after a budget meeting with the House Wednesday he hopes to get the gaming bill back out of the Senate next week and is looking at an FY 2017-18 spend number “about the same” as the House— $31.52 billion.
On gaming, Sen. Corman said he hopes the issue of video gaming terminals can be set aside temporarily, since it’s a big issue in its own right.  There are enough of other differences in the bill to be worked out between the House and Senate versions of gaming, he said, like the local share and differing tax rates.
He acknowledged that any gaming bill will not really start to bring in revenue until sometime next year.
Sen. Corman said everyone knows there is a $1.5 billion hole in the $31.53 FY 2016-17 budget and they will be working to fill that without resorting to increasing broad-based taxes.
“Finding ways to support [the House $31.52 billion spend number] will be challenging enough without going higher,” Sen. Corman said.
He said workgroups have been formed on budget-related bills, like the Fiscal Code, Education Code, Welfare Code, etc.
Revised Revenue Estimate
The Independent Fiscal Office Thursday released updated revenue estimates for FY 2016-17 and FY 2017-18 that are $820 million lower than estimates they released last year.
However, the revised FY 2017-18 revenue estimate is $32.49 billion, which is nearly $1 billion higher than the $31.52 billion budget passed by House Republicans in April.  (Click Here for more.)

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