– Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford) issued the following statement regarding his “no” vote on legislation that would provide $642 million in taxpayer funding to four state-related universities: Pitt, Penn State, Temple and Lincoln:
“First and foremost, my vote is about taking a stand for our students pursuing a higher education at these universities. Three of the four state-related institutions have said they will raise tuition regardless of how much money they receive from taxpayers.
“If funding from the state is not going to help make college more affordable for the students who choose to attend these universities, maybe we need to rethink the way we fund higher education and send the money directly to those students instead.
“I also voted ‘no’ because these institutions are not subject to the same level of Right to Know access as other state institutions. If they want to receive state taxpayer dollars, they need to be transparent and accountable.
“Finally, I voted ‘no’ on this bill because it sets a dangerous precedent when we choose to appropriate money to four private institutions in one bill. Each should have to stand on their own and earn the support of the General Assembly.”