As State Senate Adjourns, Budget Difficulties Loom

Dec 13, 2013

The state Senate has adjourned for the year on a somewhat frenzied note as lawmakers search for solutions to looming budget difficulties.

Most recently, Republican lawmakers have eyed the Pennsylvania Lottery as a potential source of additional tax revenues, by proposing legislation that would privatize its management and expand the games offered.

It’s an issue the Senate will take up again after its holiday break.

But Republican Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati says he’s aware the commonwealth may have reached its saturation point for gambling.

"There really are so many dollars out there but maybe these can be done if they’re done appropriately," he said.

Earlier this year, lawmakers legalized small games of chance in bars and taverns.

The Senate has ordered a study of the future of gambling in the commonwealth, and whether existing casinos could withstand the legalization of Internet gambling.  

The House has one more voting week left in Harrisburg, but all of the revenue-driven gambling expansion proposals have begun in the Senate.