Local
8:51 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Higher Education Cuts Remain Despite Stronger Tax Revenues

The governor is sticking by his proposed budget cuts to higher education, despite healthier tax income for Pennsylvania.

At a conference for the Pennsylvania Association of Township Supervisors, Governor Tom Corbett acknowledged that the Commonwealth's revenues are coming in higher than expected.

"We are seeing some increases in revenue, and I hope we can readjust, and we'll take a look to see what the House and the Senate recommend in changing the budget a little bit, and I would be pleased to be the first one to be able to put some money back in some areas," said Corbett.

That said, he's not backing down from his plan to make 30% cuts to three state-related schools: the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University, and Temple University. Last year, their state funding was cut by about 20%.

Corbett said a 30% cut for Penn State would represent just 1.6% of the school's operating budget.

"How many of you have had to adjust your operating budgets as a result of economies?" Corbett asked the local leaders. "It's not that I'm against Pitt or Penn State or Temple. I don't have the money."

This isn't the first time Corbett has made the case that a cut in state funding would amount to a de minimus piece of a school's overall budget.

What's changed is the state's latest tax revenue haul: stronger-than-expected collections in April brought the current state deficit to about $288 million. That's $400 million less than the Corbett administration expected to be in the red by July.