HARRISBURG – On Monday the House voted on the five non-preferred appropriation bills that would fund Penn State, University of Pittsburgh, Temple, Lincoln University and the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School.
These pieces of legislation represented a 5 percent increase for each of the schools, with the exception of Lincoln University, which would have seen a 7 percent increase.
Unlike other pieces of legislation, these non-preferred appropriation bills require a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate. Despite a strong bi-partisan vote in the Senate, these pieces of legislation did not meet the required two-thirds threshold.
After the vote Rep. William Adolph Jr. (R-Delaware) had this to say:
“I am very disappointed to see that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have joined Gov. Tom Wolf in opposing this needed funding for our state-related universities. Our students should not be held hostage during this budget impasse. This 5 percent increase was agreed to by the governor in November and received a vote of 48-2 in the Senate.”
“Let me be very clear — there are available current year revenues to pay for all five of these appropriations. The vote by House Democrats was a vote to use our students as unnecessary leverage in an effort to raise taxes.”
The governor certified available revenues for FY 2015-16 at $29.82 billion. By blue-lining House Bill 1460 to a spend number of $23.4 billion, the governor left $6.3 billion of available funds on the table. The total cost of all five non-preferred appropriation bills is approximately $578 million.