Monday, February 13, 2012

Higher education takes second heavy hit

HARRISBURG -- Calling it a ″lean and demanding″ spending plan, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett on Tuesday proposed a $27.1 billion state budget for 2012-13 that is 0.1 percent less than the current budget and contains no new taxes.

After slashing spending in his first budget last year to close a $4.2 billion deficit, Corbett this year proposes a second round of major cuts to higher education, dropping payments to state-owned and -related schools to $977 million from $1.2 billion, drawing renewed criticism from some.

″We will not spend more than we have,″ Corbett said in an address to a joint session of the House and Senate. ″We will not raise taxes. There is no talking about these limits. Every dollar taken in tax is one less dollar in the hands of a job holder or a job creator.″

On top of double-digit reductions in this year's budget, Corbett proposes 20 percent cuts to schools in the State System of Higher Education, which includes universities such as Slippery Rock and California.

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