University officials have received news out of Harrisburg today (Oct. 4) that the Commonwealth’s protracted budget impasse continues, as elected leaders continue to fail to come to an agreement on the fiscal plan – holding up passage of funding for state-related universities, including Penn State.
Penn State officials are urging members of the state House of Representatives to pass the University’s funding bill and send it on to Gov. Tom Wolf to “at least provide us with some assurance that we will be funded this year.”
Failure to enact Penn State’s appropriation bill means that not only will the University not receive $230.4 million in state funds, most of which goes toward keeping in-state tuition lower, but Penn College in Williamsport would not receive $22 million, and Agricultural Research and Extension would not receive $52.3 million. All of the funds are vital to ongoing operations.
“The absence of an appropriation would result in a direct impact on our students and their families, since these funds are used to keep tuition lower for Pennsylvania students,” said Penn State President Eric J. Barron. “Without this critical funding from the Commonwealth, we will be unable to run our extension programs that impact Pennsylvanians in all 67 counties. This would be a devastating outcome, but we remain hopeful that our state legislators can come together in support of Penn State, which creates more than $17 billion in economic impact for the state and educates tens of thousands of students annually.”
As proposed by Gov. Wolf in February, the budget includes level funding of $230.4 million for Penn State’s general support appropriation. Including the additional funds listed above for Agricultural Research and Extension and Penn College, a total appropriation of $318.2 million is in jeopardy.
Penn State has been operating without state funds since July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.