Lawmakers eye borrowing, gambling bills in budget scramble

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania lawmakers are scrambling to advance massive borrowing and casino gambling measures to help resolve a nearly four-month stalemate over how to fix the state's deficit-riddled finances.

Wednesday's House and Senate voting sessions could run late into the night.

Hanging in the balance is roughly $650 million in aid to five universities, including Penn State. Meanwhile, a House bill to impose a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production is stalled amid opposition by House Republican leaders.

The Senate is poised to take up a House plan that includes borrowing $1.5 billion and a grab bag of tax increases that's projected to yield as much as $140 million in a full year.

A Senate plan still under wraps would authorize gambling at 10 new casino locations, truck stops, airports and casino-run websites.

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