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November 25, 2015

Still no state budget

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher told Senate Council Nov. 11 that the University intends to “move very quickly” on its own budget as soon as the state budget impasse is resolved.

“We don’t have a Pitt budget because we don’t have a state appropriation,” Gallagher said, noting that although Pitt trustees approved tuition rates and capital expenditures (see July 23 University Times), the nearly five-month-long impasse in Harrisburg has precluded action on pay increases.

“I know that this is having a personal toll on the employees of the University,” the chancellor said. “I think in all of our minds this gets more acute as you start to face the holidays. People build in expectations of that and I want you to know this is very much in our minds.”

State legislators announced Nov. 10 that they had come to agreement on a broad budget “framework,” raising hope that a budget agreement could soon follow. Gallagher said: “If that happens quickly — by the end of the month — I think that we could move very quickly to address our budget issue.”

He reiterated: “We’re working very hard to try to move very quickly and make sure we try to take care of faculty and staff.”

However, hope that a state budget deal would be finalized before Thanksgiving has dimmed. In remarks to the Pennsylvania Press Club on Monday, Gov. Tom Wolf said the Republican majority has been unable to muster the necessary votes to move the framework into a real budget.

“We said we would deliver a budget by Thanksgiving,” Wolf said. “It’s time to deliver. The Republicans need to find their votes on the bipartisan agreement we made. Please, please let’s get this done and get this to my desk quickly.”

—Kimberly K. Barlow            

Filed under: Feature,Volume 48 Issue 7

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