HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Senate majority leader suggests a tax increase will likely be necessary to pass a state budget for the soon-to-start fiscal year.

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi said Tuesday that it will be a challenge to pass a budget without the higher spending level that a tax increase would support.

Democrats are pressing for taxes on natural gas drilling and sales of tobacco products, and Pileggi says those ideas should be part of deliberations among majority Republicans.

Lagging state tax collections and several other assumptions have torn a substantial hole in Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed $29.4 billion budget plan.

The governor's office says new revenue will be necessary to support new money for public schools and human services aid. The new fiscal year starts July 1.


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