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June 28, 2012

State $$$ for Pitt: No Cut?

As legislators in Harrisburg try to reach an agreement on state spending before Saturday’s deadline, Pitt administrators remain cautiously optimistic that proposed cuts to the University’s fiscal year 2013 state appropriation will not materialize, said Paul Supowitz, vice chancellor for Governmental Relations.

Gov. Tom Corbett’s initial $27.14 billion fiscal year 2013 budget proposal included a 30 percent reduction to the University’s appropriation. (See Feb. 9 University Times.) However, in exchange for a pledge by University administrators not to raise Pitt’s blended tuition rate above last year’s 3.2 percent rate of inflation, the legislature is poised to approve a general appropriation for Pitt that would maintain Pitt’s appropriation at last year’s level of nearly $136.1 million. That amount includes nearly $134 million for general support and more than $2.08 million for rural education outreach.

Although Corbett and Republican leaders last week agreed on a tentative $27.65 billion bottom line for FY13 spending — the amount proposed in a Senate’s budget proposal (see May 17 University Times) — final details of the state budget, which must be passed before appropriations for non-preferred entities including Pitt can be approved, remain in flux.

The House and Senate both are scheduled to be in session Thursday and Friday as the June 30 fiscal year-end looms.

The University released the following statement through John Fedele, associate director of News: “We are grateful that the General Assembly restored Pitt’s appropriation to last year’s level in the latest budget proposal, but this is simply the next step in the budgeting process. We are hopeful that the current budget legislation will eventually become law.”

—Kimberly K. Barlow

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