Cigarette tax for Philly schools stalls in Capitol

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republican majority leaders are scrapping plans for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to meet next week to act on legislation authorizing a cigarette sales tax in Philadelphia so its schools have enough money to open in September.

Speaker Sam Smith and Majority Leader Mike Turzai said in a statement Thursday that House members failed to reach a consensus so they won't take up the matter until they reconvene in mid-September.

City officials have said they'll send layoff notices to teachers unless the taxing authority is approved by Aug. 15. The tax is designed to provide more than $80 million a year to the cash-strapped district.

Smith and Turzai say they're asking Gov. Tom Corbett to advance the school district the money it needs to open the schools on time.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com