Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

July 7, 2016

State budget passes but awaits funding

The General Assembly has presented an on-time fiscal year 2017 budget to Gov. Tom Wolf — a $31.63 billion budget that includes a 2.5 percent increase for higher education, which would give Pitt a $3.58 million boost in its appropriation.

But there’s no cause for celebration yet. Although the spending bill was sent to the governor on July 1, caucus leaders have yet to agree on how the budget will be funded.

In a June 30 statement, the governor commended the passage of a bipartisan compromise budget “that invests more money in early childhood, K-12 and higher education, and also provides vital resources to combat the heroin crisis,” but made it clear that it won’t get his signature until they show him the money.

“I am pleased that working together we took this important step to move the commonwealth forward. I will sign the general appropriations bill as soon as there is a sustainable revenue package to pay for it, and I look forward to continuing to work with the legislature to achieve this,” Wolf stated.

However, the budget measure can become law without the governor’s signature, as was ultimately the case in the long-delayed 2016 budget. After a nine-month delay, Wolf allowed the budget bill — which he said “simply does not add up” — to take effect March 28 without his signature. (See March 31 University Times.)

According to the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget, the governor may sign, take no action, veto or line-item veto an appropriations bill.

If Wolf takes no action, the bill would become law next Monday.

To override a veto or line-item vetoes would require a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly.


The spending plan on Wolf’s desk includes a $146.77 million appropriation for Pitt. As an institution that’s not entirely under the state’s control, Pitt’s state funding comes via a nonpreferred appropriation, allocated in a separate bill following the enactment of the state’s general fund budget.

Pitt’s appropriation covers about 7 percent of its $2.07 billion budget.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Leave a Reply