York County Lawmakers Alert Families and Students to Danger House Bill 1416 Poses to Higher Education
7/20/2009
Several York and Adams County lawmakers gathered at the Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) campus in York to discuss House Bill 1416, the proposed state budget, and how it could negatively impact higher education in the Commonwealth. Lawmakers also focused on the overall budget process, basic education and the tax increases that could result from the legislation.
 
“It is outrageous that we are nearly three weeks into the fiscal year and we still do not have a budget in place,” Rep. Stan Saylor (R-Red Lion) said.  “The budget House Democrats passed Friday is not leadership. It is time for them to stop playing political games and start leading so that we can pass a budget that funds essential services – including public schools and higher education – without increasing taxes.”
 
The House passed House Bill 1416 largely along party lines on Friday, but the bill carves out $1.2 billion necessary to fund Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities, community colleges and PHEAA, with no explanation of how higher education will be funded.
 
“If I were a college student or the parent of a college student, I would be outraged by the cavalier manner in which this budget treats higher education,” said Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover). “It is unfair to put students in the position of not knowing whether or not they can count on their grants from PHEAA, and it is not right to make institutions like HACC scramble to fund the upcoming school year. Shame on those lawmakers who voted for House Bill 1416 – a vote against higher education.”
 
Other members in attendance were Reps. Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam), Ron Miller (R-Springfield Township), Dan Moul (R-Gettysburg) and Will Tallman (R-Hanover).
 
All members of the House who participated in the event voted against House Bill 1416. They noted that York County’s lone Democrat member, Rep. Eugene DePasquale (D-York) voted in favor of the legislation.
 
“Voting to carve out higher education is saying that you are going to support a future tax increase,” said Tallman. “The options to fund higher education under House Bill 1416 are higher taxes or expanded gaming.”
 
York County and Adams County Lawmakers
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Nikki Wamsley
(717) 783-8063
Caucus Web Site: PAHouseGOP.com