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Budget on his mind: Nutter in Harrisburg today

Mayor Nutter is in Harrisburg today, traveling to meeting with state lawmakers for the second time in seven days.

His visits come as the city seeks state approval to raise the sales tax, from 7 percent to 8 percent, as well as for two pension-related changes. One would allow the city to defer, for two years, $235 million worth of payments into the pension fund; the other would extend the time the city has to pay its obligation to the fund from 20 to 30 years.

These changes are critical to the $3.8 billion spending plan the mayor and City Council approved for next year - or else deep cuts are in store. The state, however, is consumed with its own budget troubles, which it is trying to satisfy by the end of this month or early next.

According to Inquirer Harrisburg reporters, among the state legislators Nutter met with today were Sen. Anthony Williams and Sen. Leanna Washington, members of Philadelphia's delegation. He also met with the Senate Republican Caucus, including Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi and Sens. Patrick Browne; Edwin Erickson; Stewart Greenleaf; Charles McIlhinney; John Rafferty; Robert Tomlinson; and Robert Wonderling.

Nutter was also expected to meet today with Philadelphia state Rep. Dwight Evans, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

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