Penn State issued another statement on the ongoing Pennsylvania state budget impasse Wednesday night, urging the state House of Representatives to “pass the university’s funding bill and send it on to Governor Tom Wolf to ‘at least provide us with some assurance that we will be funded this year.'”
The state budget is scheduled to pass every year before the new fiscal year begins on July 1. While it rarely meets this deadline, an impasse lasting this long has drastic effects for state-related institutions like Penn State, which depend on the state budget for appropriations funding.
“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,” Penn State President Eric Barron said in the statement. “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.”
The current proposed budget includes flat funding of $230.4 million for Penn State’s general support appropriation, which funds the overall operations of the university and helps keep tuition at a reasonable rate.
In the past few weeks, President Barron has published an op-ed alongside Pitt’s chancellor and penned a letter to the Penn State community urging individuals to contact their legislators about passing Penn State’s funding bill. The new statement says Penn State received news from Harrisburg today that the budget impasse continues, “as elected leaders continue to fail to come to an agreement on the fiscal plan.”