Will the Pennsylvania Senate restore Temple’s Corbett cut?

No news on this front, and the Pennsylvania budget is due back to the Governor by June 30.

The most recent word was that the Pennsylvania House proposed less of a cut than what Governor Corbett wanted. To refresh your memory, Temple University gets $172 million from Harrisburg—from the taxpayers of the state like myself. Governor Corbett proposed cutting this to about $80 million, so a $92 million cut.

Temple is “state-related”—“Commonwealth-related”, since Pennsylvania is a state that calls itself a Commonwealth. It is not a pure state school; it is a mix. So this wouldn’t have meant that Temple loses half its money. It would have just lost half of what the state puts in. I think it raises $540 million or so from tuitions. So ripping out $92 million would have been quite a hit, whether you characterize it as fat or as muscle.

The Pennsylvania House proposed putting $45 million of that money back into the Commonwealth appropriation. So the question has been whether the state Senate would agree to that number, or seek an even bigger restoration.

The Governor can always veto the budget. I am not sure if there is line-item in Pennsylvania; I’d have to search that. But my dark recollection from the days of the Thornburgh and Casey Administrations is that there are rarely budget standoffs in this state. Once the House and Senate come up with something, the Governor usually goes along, as long as what the final product is looks like what the Governor originally proposed.

As you know, I am waiting to publicize the Temple Japan issue until we know what the cut is going to be. The mere fact that the elementary and high schools (the school districts) are bracing for cuts should be enough to pique peoples’ attention. But it would be good to show that tuition around the state is going up to support a junket in Tokyo that doesn’t really employ Pennsylvanians. (So Pennsylvanians lose jobs to hire Tokyoites and people from the British Commonwealth.)

I am also curious to learn what role this man has to play. George Kenney is a former member of the Pennsylvania House, and now works for Temple University as the Director of Commonwealth and Federal Affairs. Basically, he works for Temple to go back to his political colleagues in Harrisburg and ask for more government money for Temple. Since Temple already gets government money, it’s like someone who is partially paid by the government, whose job is to go back to the government and ask for more.

I’m sure, in the values relativist culture of Temple, this is all well and good. But, to me, it looks like the state government and the university have this clubby relationship. In Japan, this was called “amakudari”, or “descent from heaven”. The former governmental overseers of organizations are then hired by those very organizations once they retire from government.

If the Senate restores 100% of Temple’s money, do the taxpayers have former state Represtentative Kenney to thank for that? Why can’t other universities in the Commonwealth get such nice deals worked out for them?