Budget Impasse Ends, Wolf Allows Penn State Funding to Pass

Nine months of bickering, politicking, and budget gridlock, Penn State will have an appropriation.

Patriot News reporter Charles Thompason reported that Governor Tom Wolf will allow the budget package, parts of which were approved last week, to become law without his signature.

Penn State’s appropriation a $225 million general appropriation and $50.5 million to Penn State College of Ag Sciences for agricultural research and extension programs — a 5 percent increase from last year. Gov. Wolf had promised to restore Penn State’s funding to pre-Gov. Tom Corbett levels over time.

“This is obviously quite a relief for Penn State and the students, faculty and staff we serve,” President Barron said. “State funding plays a critical role in our ability to offer an accessible, world-class education to Pennsylvanians and it also allows us to keep in operation our network of county agricultural extension services and agricultural research. We are grateful that our elected leadership in Harrisburg have reached a positive resolution to a difficult budget process.”

Gov. Wolf had promised to veto the package when it passed the House and Senate last week because it did not include his requested tax increases (among other things), but he ultimate backed down on that promise after meeting with members of the Democratic caucus this week.

“I am going to allow the 2015-2016 budget to become law without my signature,” said Governor Tom Wolf in a statement. “This will allow for funding to go out to schools and other services in the short term, but we still face enormous problems that this budget does not even pretend to address.

“Let’s be clear: the math in this budget does not work. Next fiscal year – that already has a $2 billion deficit – will now begin with an extra $300 million deficit. Ratings agencies and the Independent Fiscal Office have all agreed that we face a massive structural deficit. Left unaddressed, the deficit will force cuts to schools and human services, devastating credit downgrades that will cost taxpayers millions, and increase property taxes for our senior citizens. We must face this reality this year and balance our budget with real, sustainable revenues.”

This is good news for a Penn State administration that promised layoffs and closures, specifically with its Ag Extension programs across the state.

On to 2016-2017….

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Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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