"Today, we stand in a better place than we were to articulate our message," said Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D., Allegheny). "This gives us a greater voice."
The disputed races include one between GOP Rep. Tom Quigley and Democratic challenger Mark Painter in Montgomery County. Quigley was trailing by 216 votes Wednesday, with all precincts reporting.
In Delaware County, longtime GOP Rep. Nick Micozzie led Democrat Sheamus Bonner by 354 votes, again with all precincts reporting.
House Republicans said they believed Micozzie would prevail, and Democrats expected Painter to defeat Quigley.
If those predictions stand, the Republican majority of 111-92 would remain unchanged from the current two-year legislative session.
House Speaker Sam Smith (R., Jefferson) said Wednesday that his caucus' agenda for the next two years would build on many of the themes that characterized the last session: growing jobs in the state, delivering an on-time budget, and keeping spending in check.
Still remaining was the question of whether the legislature finally would tackle big-ticket items that have been brushed to the sidelines in the last few years, such as reducing the cost of public-employee pensions and solving transportation funding.
Smith said he believed that Gov. Corbett would make a proposal on the pension question during his budget address in February and that on major issues, it would be best to work from the top down.
"The system on the bigger issues works better when we work from a governor's proposal," Smith said. "And I think that holds true with other major issues, because you have a starting point."
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