State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Corbett proposes to flat-fund higher ed

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Feb 3, 2013 6:02 PM
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Gov. Corbett said Friday he won’t propose a funding cut for state-supported and owned colleges and universities next fiscal year.

The governor’s announcement comes with strings attached: the schools will receive level funding, but they’ve promised to keep tuition hikes as low as possible. Last year, when lawmakers worked a similar deal with colleges and universities, the rule was to keep hikes within the rate of inflation – about three percent.

Corbett said he’s not drawing that kind of bottom line right now because it’s still too early in schools’ budgeting process.

“I’m not going to draw the line right now because I don’t know what all the factors are that are out there, but, well let’s say, a 10 percent? Yeah, I’d have a problem with 10 percent,” said Corbett.

Republican Sen. Jake Corman is the Senate Appropriations Committee chairman whose district includes Penn State’s flagship campus. He said he’s hoping for tuition increases that are no bigger than the ones approved last year.

“Look, they’re going to do the best they can,” he said. “I believe their commitment is to do that.”

A year ago in his budget address, the governor proposed cutting state aid to most institutions of higher education by 20 to 30 percent. Corman said improving revenue projections allowed the governor to eventually agree to flat-fund higher education.

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