Moul, Tallman Warn of Threat to Pennsylvania Agriculture Posed By Failure to Fund Major Universities
3/7/2016
HARRISBURG - State Reps. Dan Moul (R-Adams) and Will Tallman (R-Adams/Cumberland) are warning of serious consequences coming to Pennsylvania’s agriculture community, and the state as a whole, as the result of a lack of funding for Pennsylvania’s major universities.

“We understand the general public’s unhappiness with party politics,” Moul said. “It, however, is a fact House Democrats failed to supply the votes necessary to send state funding to what are referred to as the ‘state-related schools.’ These schools include Penn State, Temple and Lincoln universities, as well as the University of Pittsburgh and University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine.”

The Pennsylvania Constitution requires a two-thirds majority vote of the General Assembly in order to approve the corresponding legislation to support these schools, meaning votes are needed from members on both sides of the aisle. On two occasions, with nearly every Republican House member voting in favor of the bills, nearly every House Democrat stood in opposition.

A by-product of the lack of funding for Penn State is the uncertain status of the Penn State Cooperative Extension.

“Penn State Cooperative Extension essentially serves a 911 call center for Pennsylvania farmers,” said Tallman. “If they have an issue with crops or animals and cannot diagnose the problem themselves, they can simply reach out to the extension service and someone will either walk them through the problem or be on site as soon as possible.”

“Plum Pox Virus was discovered for the first time in North America in 1999 in an Adams County peach orchard, and Penn State Extension’s fruit research laboratory in Biglerville played a major part in eradicating the virus in this country and helping local stone fruit growers survive,” Moul added. “Their challenges now include helping Pennsylvania avoid an avian flu epidemic, something in which the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine is also playing a key role.”

Penn State Cooperative Extension has been in existence for 150 years and employs approximately 1,100 people statewide. If the service shuts down, many more Pennsylvanians than that will be impacted.

“Shutting down the service will affect more than 100,000 people who volunteer with groups such the 4-H,” Tallman said. “As for the full-time employees, their talents are specialized and no doubt in need by surrounding states that face similar challenges.”

Moul and Tallman both voted to support legislation that would have funded the state-related schools.

Representative Dan Moul
91st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Donna Pinkham
717.260.6452
dpinkham@pahousegop.com
RepMoul.com

Representative Will Tallman
193rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Scott Little
717.260.6137
slittle@pahousegop.com
RepWillTallman.com / Facebook.com/RepTallman
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