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State senate wraps up wide-ranging budget bill

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The state Senate is finishing the remaining pieces of budget-related legislation for the new fiscal year.

The Republican-controlled Senate Tuesday narrowly approved a wide-ranging bill after a Democrat criticized it as packed with top Republicans' special wants and written in secret.

It guides billions of dollars for public schools and hospitals and changes the way oil and gas drilling is regulated.

Senators also plan to make changes to a bill that includes the authority for Philadelphia to impose a $2 per-pack cigarette tax to help fund its schools.

That means another House vote is necessary.

A general spending bill for the $29.1 billion budget plan landed on Governor Tom Corbett's desk July 1st.

But he's withholding a signature while he waits for lawmakers to finalize budget-related legislation.

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