House GOP leader: No agreements in Pennsylvania budget talks

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The Republican leader in the GOP-controlled Pennsylvania House of Representatives says there haven’t been any agreements reached in a six-day-old budget stalemate over the state’s deficit-ridden finances.

Majority Leader Dave Reed told House GOP members in a Thursday memo that he’s also opposed to a “broad-based” tax increase and favors trying to raise money by expanding casino-style gambling and further privatizing the sale of wine and liquor in Pennsylvania.

Critics say it’s too unreliable to try to balance the budget by expanding gambling or selling more wine and liquor licenses.

Reed’s memo comes as top lawmakers negotiate a revenue package in private and Standard and Poor’s warns that Pennsylvania faces another credit downgrade if the state doesn’t improve its finances. A downgrade increases the cost of government borrowing.

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