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Pa. House approves PSU funding, with a catch

Plus: A House bill to require greater transparency from state-related universities moves on to the Senate for a vote

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This is Talk of the Town, a free weekly newsletter delivering top news from State College and the surrounding region.

November 2, 2023
Inside this edition: The Pa. House approves bills to release funding for state-related universities and  require more transparency, cash is flooding the Pa. Supreme Court race, and the state’s voting law is filled with troublesome conflicts. 🗳 Plus: Tuesday is Election Day. Are you ready to vote?
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The Pennsylvania House of Representatives this week passed two bills related to the four state-related universities — Penn State, Temple, Lincoln, and Pitt.

On Tuesday, state lawmakers voted 145-57 to release more than $640 million in funding for the universities, an effort that has been delayed since June, the Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports.

A Republican amendment to the bill would require universities not to raise tuition for the 2024-25 academic year.

“We can’t tell our young people that they should go to our institutions of higher education, particularly our institutions here in Pennsylvania, and then make it unobtainable because it is unaffordable for them,” state House Appropriations Committee Chair Jordan Harris (D., Philadelphia) told reporters. 

The bill next needs approval in the state Senate.

Penn State, according to the Centre Daily Times, “cannot support” the tuition freeze.

The university Board of Trustees in July approved tuition increases for the next two years, the CDT reported. The university is slated to receive $250 million in funding from the state. 

“Our elected officials cannot expect Penn State to offer a world-class education to our students while providing state funding near the lowest level in the nation,” the university said in a statement provided to the CDT.

Also this week, the state House passed a bill — 201 to 1 — that would require more transparency from the state-related universities.

“Universities would be required to list the salaries of all officers and directors, as well as up to the 200 highest-paid employees, plus faculty salary ranges. They would have to disclose enrollment and staff employment figures. The universities would have to report how much money is brought in and spent each year, and would have to file a list of contracts exceeding $5,000 to the governor’s office and Legislature,” the Associated Press reports.

This bill also heads to the Senate for a vote.

Support Spotlight PA's vital election reporting and for a limited time, your gift will be TRIPLED.
» Pa. court strikes down a key climate program, but environmentalists expect an appeal

» Who are Judge Jack Panella and Judge Victor Stabile, and what is judicial retention?

» Working the polls cleared up Jay Schneider’s 2020 suspicions. Now he’s taking charge as a judge of elections.

» Pennsylvania’s voting law is filled with obsolete provisions, troublesome conflicts

» A new Democratic group and one libertarian billionaire are flooding the Pa. Supreme Court race with cash

» Meet the podcaster, author, and hairstylist bringing Pa.’s haunted history to life

» Pa. election 2023: When to expect results, how officials are preparing, and more

» The Tree of Life synagogue massacre led to little action by the Pa. legislature


» VOTER READY: Join us TONIGHT from 6-7 p.m. ET via Zoom for a free Q&A on voting rights in Pennsylvania, important dates and deadlines, and answers to your remaining Election Day questions. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org.

» RESULTS REVIEW: Join us, the New Pennsylvania Project, and Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts on Thursday, Nov. 16 from 6-7 p.m. ET for a Q&A on the election results and what they mean for the future of the state. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org.
Daniel Fishel / For Spotlight PA
At Spotlight PA, we put voters front and center in our nonpartisan election coverage. Get all the information you need to make an informed vote this November by visiting our Election Center website
» See how judges affect you and the issues you care about most
» Complete guide to who is on the ballot, when to vote, how to vote, where to vote, casting mail ballots & more
» Complete guide to requesting, filling out, and returning a mail ballot
» Complete guide to the candidates for Pennsylvania Supreme Court
» Complete guide to the candidates for Commonwealth, Superior Courts
» What to know about the judicial retention questions on Pa. ballots

» Lo que hay que saber sobre las preguntas de retención judicial en la papeleta de noviembre
» Una guía completa sobre quién está en la papeleta, cuándo votar, cómo votar, dónde votar, la emisión de votos por correo y más
» Una guía de los candidatos a la Corte Suprema del estado
» Una guía de los candidatos a la Commonwealth y las Cortes Superiores
The view from the top of Mount Nittany in Centre County, via Lilly R.

Want to be featured here? Send your best local pics to talkofthetown@spotlightpa.org.
» CDT: What Centre Co. school board candidates think about ‘book bans’
» CDT: Returned checks a point of contention in Centre Co. treasurer race
» Leader-Enterprise: Potter Co. seeks increased revenues for state land

» Sun-Gazette: Township seeks forensic audit of natural gas impact fees
» WPSU: Blair County NAACP celebrates 100 years
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» Nov. 2: Chuck Rocha, founder of Solidarity Strategies, lectures on “educational polarization and race in American elections” at Penn State’s University Park campus.

» Nov. 2-5: The Centre Film Festival continues its “celebration of film and conversation” at the Rowland Theatre and The State Theatre in Centre County.

» Nov. 4: Millbrook Playhouse in Clinton County hosts its Brews in the Barn beer tasting event.

» Nov. 5: Centre County PAWS, an animal shelter, hosts PAWS Fest with food and drink vendors, carnival-inspired games, a tennis toss, and more.

» Nov. 7: The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State presents Come From Away, a musical about a plane on Sept. 11, 2001, that had to be diverted to a small town in Newfoundland.
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