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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 5, 2017 01:50 PM
From: Representative P. Michael Sturla
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation to Fund Higher Education
In the near future I will reintroduce HB 58 of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session, to establish a substantial funding source for higher education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

This legislation will impose 1% sales and use surtax on those items currently taxed under Article II of the Tax Reform Code – creating a considerable funding source of over $1.35 billion. Every dollar generated will be used to fund the State System of Higher Education, State-Related Universities, Community Colleges, and the state-owned Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology.

Adequate and fair funding for our institutions of higher education has been a hotly debated topic in recent years. Providing a permanent funding stream will remove higher education as a political pawn in budget negotiations and recognize that continued funding for these institutions is in the best interest of Pennsylvania’s economic future. It is undeniable that our higher education system creates billions of economic impact annually. Pennsylvania has a higher education infrastructure that is the envy of other states. If another state wanted to replicate our higher education system it would cost billions of dollars and decades to construct.

Beyond producing the qualified workforce of the next generation (which in turn leads companies to locate here), institutions of higher education promotes tourism ($83 million worth of visits from families and events like alumni weekends), and it drives the economies of towns surrounding the schools as a major employer, not just in on-campus jobs, but the small businesses catering to the needs of the students and faculty in towns surrounding universities. These institutions also employ thousands of Pennsylvanians in family-sustaining jobs while providing access to quality healthcare benefits and retirement plans.

The following members co-sponsored HB 1621 in the 2011-12 Session:

Please join me in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB1057