In the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania General Assembly, taxes are out and fees are in.
Senate Republican leaders are putting together an impact fee bill, which would provide funding for counties and municipalities where natural gas drilling is taking place.
It’s unclear whether the Republican measure would fund environmental protection efforts.
Senate Appropriations Chair Jake Corman says if the impact fee moves forward, it will likely do so alongside the budget package.”Look, the budget process is not going to be easy, as everyone can imagine by now,” he said. “To think that we’re going to finish that, and come back and do something else–that’s not going to be easy. I think it would be difficult to get that done. So it’s just sort of easy to get this all done at once.” Governor Corbett and legislative leaders are hoping for a budget vote in May or early June. The governor has said he’d be willing to “take a look at” an impact fee, but would oppose any measure that sends revenue to the state government.