(WHTM)– Governor Shapiro signed several bills Thursday including the one that will fund “State-related” universities like Penn State, Pitt and Temple.
The legislature passed this several months late, and while supporters are happy money will finally start flowing they’re not completely happy.
There were months of haggling but in the end no big blowup.
First the Senate, the bill passed 45-5. In the House, it went 149 to 54.
Penn State, Temple, and Pitt got the same state dollars they got last year, while Lincoln got a little more. Students marched 66 miles to the capitol this week urging lawmakers to free up their funding. It made a difference.
“I think all of us on both sides of the aisle were moved by that effort,” Senator Vincent Hughes (D) said.
“These funds go directly to offset tuition for Pennsylvania residents,” Paul Takac (D-Centre) said.
Penn State is in Democrat Paul Takac’s House district. He says the school asked for a 47% hike, was offered 7% if it agreed to freeze tuition, and settled for no increase, no strings, for the fourth year in a row.
“We really only got flat year-over-year funding, which is effectively a decrease given the increasing costs that they’re dealing with,” Takac said.
But several House Republicans, citing cash-strapped parents, wanted the schools to promise not to hike tuition in exchange for more state money. Takac calls that a bad precedent.
“We, in my opinion, shouldn’t be telling the board of trustees what they can and can’t do with students,” Takac said.
Funding the so-called non-preferds now off the to-do list though they all would have preferred more cash. So nearly six months into the fiscal year the money is finally flowing, fair to say all of the schools hope it’s more timely next year.