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PHILADELPHIA-The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority plans to again plead with the state legislature for $232-million, half the sum needed to expand the Downtown center. Last spring, the legislature tabled consideration of funding until the authority resolves labor problems that have plagued the facility since its inception.

The labor issues have not yet been resolved. The 12,000-member carpenters union refuses to sign an agreement that changes work rules at the center, which has been signed by five other unions. The authority’s board plans to continue to negotiate with the carpenters through the weekend, if necessary, before heading for Harrisburg.

The legislature reconvenes on Monday, and the state’s spending bill is on the agenda.

While board members say they are considering “alternative measures” to a labor agreement, they decline to elaborate on any options. Off the record, according to published reports, a state-takeover of the center, similar to a plan under operation at New York’s Jacob Javits Center, cannot be ruled out.

The authority considers the $464-million expansion, which would double the existing space, essential for the center to compete for large-scale convention business.

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