Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Republicans in the Pennsylvania Senate say they’re waiting to cut a deal on legalizing table games and are complaining House leaders haven’t sat down for negotiations since last week’s budget deal. Leaders from both chambers said they’d work out the table games bill early this week, but Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says he still hasn’t heard from any House members. The Senate’s legislation sets the tax on table games at 14%, while House Majority Leader Todd Eachus has said he wants to see a 17 or 18 percent rate. Pileggi says he’s willing to go up, “If the majority of the House could agree, and the governor could agree, to the total tax rate of 15 percent, that could probably receive the support of the majority of senators. But we haven’t heard that from the House yet.” House Democratic spokesmen did not return calls for comment. Pileggi is also urging the House to pass the “nonpreferred” spending bill, which includes funding for Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln, as well as other organizations. He says there’s enough revenue to fund the 750 million dollar bill without table games. Rendell spokesman Gary Tuma says that’s true, but the move would cut into a $350 million surplus budget negotiators intended as a buffer against next year’s possible deficit.