Thursday, July 16, 2009

PA's budget fix: Drop college and tuition funding?

Pennsylvania legislators are so terrified by the prospect of raising taxes that they're actually preparing to vote tomorrow on a new state budget that contains no funding for some universities and student loan programs.

Will Joe Paterno be flipping burgers this fall instead of prowling the sidelines? No, the educational funding cuts will not affect the four state-related universities - Penn State, Temple, Pittsburgh, and Lincoln - because their money comes from an annual appropriation outside the general fund.

But if you're a student at West Chester or Cheney State universities or at any of Pennsylvania's state community colleges--or a recipient of a state tuition loan, well...fries with that sir?

The brain trust in the Democratic House has proposed removing the educational funding from the budget but replacing it, at some future date, with a "dedicated funding source," possibly the state's take from video poker or some other scheme yet to be devised.

In other words, some other revenue source that doesn't start with T and rhyme with ax.

Governor Rendell calls the proposal: "“exactly the kind of bold and creative thinking we need to solve big challenges.”

Even guys as smart as Ed Rendell say some pretty silly things when their state budget is already two weeks late and, unless signed tomorrow, will cause more than 33,000 angry state workers to receive only part of their usual paycheck.

After Rules Suspension, Thursday to Showcase Big Budget Vote
Budget with no tax rise on move
Pa. House jettisons rules to speed budget process
State workers protest budget stalemate
Pennsylvania state budget battle now a public relations campaign

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