Students from state-owned and state-related universities across Pennsylvania hopped on buses this morning to attend a rally at the Capitol to protest Governor Tom Corbett's budget proposal that would cut state funding for higher education by 50%. Hundreds of sign-waving students stoop on the steps of the Capitol while leaders of some of the universities testified before the House Appropriations Committee.
Representative Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny County), is a trustee of the University of Pittsburgh, and told the students that lawmakers will not them down....
"Governor Corbett emphasized the concept of 'shared sacrifice' in his budget address. Apparently, he meant 'shared sacrifice' from students, their families, faculty, staff and the communities that rely and thrive on the economic vitality generated by your schools. "He clearly does not believe that Big Oil and gas companies who extract our natural resources have to share in the sacrifice. He clearly does not believe that tobacco companies who produce smokeless tobacco products and cigars have to share in our sacrifice."
Representative Mike Hanna of Clinton and Centre Counties says the governor's priorities are wrong, and asked why Corbett is choosing incarceration over education. The Department of Corrections is one of the few that is scheduled to receive a funding increase in the governor's budget.