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Senate aims to end Pa. budget stalemate

October 6, 2009 4:39:54 PM PDT
Senate spending and tax bills are on their way to the House, although partisan sparks are flying as the state's budget stalemate nears 100 days. The Republican-controlled Senate on Tuesday morning overwhelmingly approved a $27.8 billion spending plan in a bid to end the impasse.

However, a spokesman says House Democrats will strip $12 million in discretionary grant programs from the plan and send it back.

It is unclear when that will happen.

Democrats adjourned the House on Tuesday without saying why. Whip Bill DeWeese says partisan friction is cooling and negotiators are talking.

Overall, the budget would cut spending by more than 1 percent from last year and raise taxes on some businesses and sales of cigarettes to help resolve Pennsylvania's multibillion-dollar budget shortfall.

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