Wednesday July 13,2016 : ONLINE GAMBLING LEGALISATION IN PENNSYLVANIA LIKELY TO BE DELAYED (Update)
Latest reports indicate that a vote on online gambling provisions to help close the budget gap may now be postponed until autumn.
The cliff-hanging drama that is the Pennsylvanian annual budget and how to fund a $1.3 billion deficit gap continued Tuesday as politicians wrestled with various tax options targeting tobacco and cigarette sales, digital downloads and an expansion of gaming that includes legalised online gambling.
The bad news emerging in local media reports and interviews with politicians involved in the debate is that whilst the gaming elements in the funding proposal are likely to remain, these will not be voted on until the northern hemisphere autumn.
Senate Appropriations Committee chair Patrick Browne told reporters Tuesday night that the gaming elements would be relied upon to contribute $100 million of the shortfall, but that this aspect was not in need of immediate legislative attention.
“One hundred million dollars in the scope of a $31.5 billion budget … it’s not needed right away. But if it’s probable? You can book something that is probable,” he said in explaining the delay.
Further discussion is expected today (Wednesday) although technically the budget bill lapsed into state law midnight Tuesday without the governors signature or veto
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, told reporters that proposed charter school changes were a bone of contention, but that a resolution to the overall funding problem was essential, saying: “Leaving here and not getting this done would put us off a steep cliff.”