The Associated Press January 30, 2012, 4:42PM ET

Pa. senator hopes for gas-drilling bill in a week

Pennsylvania's highest-ranking state senator says he thinks an agreement on a sweeping bill to impose a fee on the booming natural gas drilling industry can be finished in a week, right before Gov. Tom Corbett unveils his budget plan.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said Monday that negotiators from the House, Senate and governor's office are trying to agree on the size of the fee and the distribution of the money.

He says negotiators are working toward a "hybrid" solution to iron out differences over whether the state or the county that hosts the drilling should enforce the fee.

Scarnati says Senate negotiators are trying to make a final bill more appealing to advocates of allowing municipalities to regulate drilling activity than earlier proposals that passed the Senate.


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