A Pennsylvania House panel has approved a measure to cut funding for state-owned and state-related universities
The bill will now go to the Senate for a vote.
The House vote went along down party lines–Democrats called the proposed funding cuts draconian and Republicans made the case for belt-tightening in hard times.
When it came time to take a vote on the first of four bills to decrease funding for higher education, Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Adolph of Delaware County offered a wry observation.
“Twenty-one yeas and 14 nays,” he said. “Despite all that conversation, obviously no one changed their mind.”
The plan calls for an 18 percent cut to funds for the 14 state system schools, including Millersville, Slippery Rock and Bloomsburg.
The funding cut would be 19 percent for the four state-related universities — Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln.
Democrats say the reductions would force schools to hike their tuition, but Republicans say the General Assembly can’t control tuition rates.
The legislation will likely be considered by the Senate next week.