The Pennsylvania House of Representatives
has approved a $29.1 billion state budget without including an oil and gas severance tax proposal after weeks of renewed debate that found lawmakers on both sides of the aisle giving it strong consideration as they faced down a $1.5 billion deficit (see Shale Daily
). The bill is now headed to the state Senate, where a severance tax and other revenue proposals are expected to receive similar scrutiny. The House's budget, passed mainly along party lines in the Republican-controlled chamber, relies on the privatization of liquor sales in the state to generate additional revenue, which won't be enough to fill the spending gap. Lawmakers face a Monday deadline to pass the budget before the new fiscal year begins on Tuesday. Negotiations could last through the weekend or longer.