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Good Tuesday Morning, Fellow Seekers. April's revenue showers brought with them only more rain in May, with tax collections coming in 8 million less for the month and 2.2 million for the fiscal year that ends June 30.
Thus are state lawmakers looking under every couch cushion for new money that will help balance the state's books without resulting in a broad-based tax increase or any severe cuts to programs, including public education.
So it was interesting to hear Senate Democrats on Monday as they partially resurrected a proposal, dating back to the Rendell administration, to toms shoe outlet slap new levies on cigars, smokeless tobacco products and eCigarettes, as well as a hike to the state's per-pack cigarette tax.
More astute readers will recall that Pennsylvania is the only state in this great union of ours that doesn't impose an excise tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco products. And the last push was killed stone dead by in-state cigar manufacturers who threatened to leave the state for greener climes.
During a briefing with toms outlet sale reporters yesterday, an aide toDemocratic Floor Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, said a 40-cent-a-pack increase to the state's existing -a-pack tax would net the state about 0 million in new revenue.
A new levy on cigars, smokeless products and eCigarettes, meanwhile, would get the state about million in new revenue.
Taken together, that's only 0 million, which is about a quarter of the .2 billion shortfall the state is facing for this year and the 2014-15 fiscal year. But it's a start -- and it's not a broad-based tax increase.
So some food for thought -- and discussion -- as we delve into the rest of the day's news.
It starts right now:
Speaking of the budget, , The Citizens-Voice reports.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who's stopping by the PennLive editorial board at 2 p.m. today, , The Tribune-Review reports.
You knew this had to happen -- Gov. Tom Corbett's re-election campaign has found a way to link to Democratic nominee Tom Wolf to the new carbon emission rules the EPA rolled out yesterday. Wolf has proposed a sort of cap-and-trade for emissions - that's the link. In a press toms for cheap release, Corbett's campaign said he's "[challenging] Wolf to denounce this cap-and-trade tax he has supported as part of his 'A Fresh Start' plan, and to instead support the Pennsylvania coal industry and the Pennsylvania families who rely on this critical industry."
, The Post-Gazette reports.
The Morning Call
What Goes On. As befits a session day, there's a full slate of prepackaged press events on the docket. 10 a.m, Media Center: Women s Health Caucus unveils the second phase of their legislative agenda. 10 a.m., Main Rotunda: The Pa. Dental Association honors lawmakers for expanded access to dental care. 11:30 a.m., Main Rotunda: The Pennsylvania Brain Injury Coalition will discuss program funding and outline legislative priorities to help individuals with brain injuries and their families. 1 p.m., Capitol Steps: Raise The Wage minimum wage rally. 2:30 p.m., Main Rotunda: Early Education Rally.
What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition). 8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep Marcia Hahn. 11:30 a.m.: Lunch for Sen. John Eichelberger 12 toms cheap p.m.: Lunch for Sen. Judy Schwank 6 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Mike Tobash 6 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Joe Hackett Ride the circuit and give at the max today, and you'll part with ,550 today.
Heavy Rotation. Here's an old favorite from Harry Connick Jr. It's "She."
And now you're up to date. See you all back here a bit later on today.
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