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UPDATED: Rendell to Sign PSU Appropriation

gavel by bloomsberriesWell, with finals week here, it is a relief to know that the Penn State appropriations saga is almost over. Yesterday, a major milestone was reached when the House successfully passed the table games bill on second consideration, and then Penn State’s appropriation minutes later by a vote of 184-6.

Now, the table games bill will wait to be voted on for third and final consideration in the House today, before being sent to the Senate, and then to Governor Rendell to be signed. Rendell has said numerous times that he would not sign the appropriations bill before the table games bill.

Now, with the table games bill almost certainly passing today and crossing the Gov’s desk in the near-future, Penn State may see its $334 million appropriation within a week. The months-long delay in receiving the money has cost Penn State valuable interest and the uncertainty has not been kind to the Administration. Hopefully, the relative “timeliness” of the appropriation will save students from seeing a tuition increase come Spring Semester.

Dj Ryan, CCSG Governmental Affairs Director, was not entirely pleased with the appropriations bill however.

“We don’t feel our appropriation is where it should be based on our size and our presence within the commonwealth of Pa…”

Last year, the State gave Penn State $338 million. Penn State had requested $377 million for this year, but was clearly not found needy enough… Dream big I guess.

Additionally, on the CCSG website, Ryan posted a list of the six representatives that voted against giving Penn State its hard-earned money. They are: Rep. Bryan Cutler (R), Rep. Keith Gillespie (R), Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R), Rep. Dan Moul (R), Rep. Gary Haluska (D), and Rep. Timothy Solobay (D).

Don’t they know that the youth are the future? Who would place themselves in the minority against a spending bill that supports the best university in Pennsylvania the world?

Ryan wondered the same.

This, in the eyes of this PSU student, is completely unacceptable and calls for serious explanation. Those who do not support Pennsylvania’s public universities have no place in our state government. There is no reason to vote against Penn State’s appropriation. None whatsoever.

What do these Penn State haters have to say for themselves? Oops.

Updated 12:57pm: Shelly Castetter wrote us a great response as to what those that opposed the Penn State Appropriation were thinking. It’s after the jump.

Updated 4:04pm 12/17: Rendell announces he will sign the state-related appropriations without the table games bill passing. Doesn’t that mean he could have signed it months ago? Discuss.

I tried to post this on your site but wasn’t able to.  Maybe this will give another point of view.  I am not a student instead I am a political consultant and writer.  I understand your frustration and am glad your school will be receiving its money.  Shelley Castetter
____________________________
I beg to differ.  These Representatives did not vote against Penn State.  That is a simplistic comment.   Believe it or not Penn State was not the only affected university.  This involved 4 universities.  Of the 4 affected universities Penn State gets the highest subsidies.   The legislators were voting against the gambling bill that was attached not against you or any university.
The Reps vote is consistent with the stand of your own university officials.  The money for your tuition was essentially “held hostage” until legislators voted for the passage of table games.  Your officials along with the officials from the other universities strongly opposed this tactic.
These Reps understood that many would only look at their vote on the surface & not examine the real reason why it was being cast.  This was a protest to the tactics being used to “strong arm” the passage of table games by using education as the means to make it happen  These Reps knew they were taking an obvious risk that could cost them in next years elections.
I spoke to one of the legislators last night after the vote & he expressed that he was very aware of how this would be viewed, a reality he felt frustrated about.  Still, it was a risk he was willing to take, because he believes people need to understand what this legislation was really all about.
It was a lose/lose situation.
Legislators know in advance how many votes they have for a bill & this is one of the determining factors in when a bill will be introduced for a vote.  Often if it’s thought enough votes aren’t lined up leadership will go back into negotiations several times to get enough votes.   By the time this vote came along everyone knew it would pass even without these legislator’s votes.
The gaming bill itself is a mess.  Have you read any of it?  It appears to be in every sense of the word–whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent bad legislation.   These legislators knew their votes wouldn’t affect the passage but they could not bring themselves to vote for something they saw as riddled with serious issues.  And they couldn’t vote for anything contingent upon passage of the table games bill.
I think you should feel proud that you attend such an excellent university, however at this point in your life you need to think about the lasting ramifications of any legislation passed and not the immediate benefits.  What about next year and the year after?
Pennsylvania schools already have some of the highest in-state tuition in the country and have for many years—going back into the 90’s and maybe before.  Perhaps the question should be why is that?

I tried to post this on your site but wasn’t able to.  Maybe this will give another point of view.  I am not a student instead I am a political consultant and writer.  I understand your frustration and am glad your school will be receiving its money.  Shelley Castetter

____________________________

I beg to differ.  These Representatives did not vote against Penn State.  That is a simplistic comment.   Believe it or not Penn State was not the only affected university.  This involved 4 universities.  Of the 4 affected universities Penn State gets the highest subsidies.   The legislators were voting against the gambling bill that was attached not against you or any university.

The Reps vote is consistent with the stand of your own university officials.  The money for your tuition was essentially “held hostage” until legislators voted for the passage of table games.  Your officials along with the officials from the other universities strongly opposed this tactic.

These Reps understood that many would only look at their vote on the surface & not examine the real reason why it was being cast.  This was a protest to the tactics being used to “strong arm” the passage of table games by using education as the means to make it happen  These Reps knew they were taking an obvious risk that could cost them in next years elections.

I spoke to one of the legislators last night after the vote & he expressed that he was very aware of how this would be viewed, a reality he felt frustrated about.  Still, it was a risk he was willing to take, because he believes people need to understand what this legislation was really all about.

It was a lose/lose situation.

Legislators know in advance how many votes they have for a bill & this is one of the determining factors in when a bill will be introduced for a vote.  Often if it’s thought enough votes aren’t lined up leadership will go back into negotiations several times to get enough votes.   By the time this vote came along everyone knew it would pass even without these legislator’s votes.

The gaming bill itself is a mess.  Have you read any of it?  It appears to be in every sense of the word–whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent bad legislation.   These legislators knew their votes wouldn’t affect the passage but they could not bring themselves to vote for something they saw as riddled with serious issues.  And they couldn’t vote for anything contingent upon passage of the table games bill.

I think you should feel proud that you attend such an excellent university, however at this point in your life you need to think about the lasting ramifications of any legislation passed and not the immediate benefits.  What about next year and the year after?

Pennsylvania schools already have some of the highest in-state tuition in the country and have for many years—going back into the 90’s and maybe before.  Perhaps the question should be why is that?

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Eli Glazier

Eli is a junior majoring in International Politics. He enjoys paninis and books.

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