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Cigarette Tax Proposal To Fund Philadelphia Schools Moves Forward In Pa. Senate

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa., (CBS) -- State lawmakers have sent Governor Tom Corbett a new budget as a cigarette tax proposal to fund Philadelphia schools has moved forward in one chamber of the legislature.

In something of a surprise move, the state Senate Monday night approved an amendment that would enact the cigarette tax for Philadelphia schools. Mayor Michael Nutter celebrated the moment.

"It's never over 'til it's over, but this is the most positive sign and action that we've seen in a year and so I am deeply appreciative," Nutter said.

But while the bill into which the cigarette tax proposal was added is expected to pass the Senate, a spokesman for majority Republicans in the House said Monday night that nothing had changed in that chamber -- there was still no plan to act on any tax legislation in the House before summer recess.

Lawmakers, meanwhile, sent Governor Corbett a no new tax budget bill that Republicans say is responsible and that Democrats characterize as a patchwork plan filled with gimmicks.

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