UNIVERSITY PARK — Some members of the state Senate may want to cut appropriations to Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal and Louis Freeh report.
But Sen. Jake Corman, R-Benner Township, thinks the majority of people do not feel that way, and he doesn’t think Penn State funding should be cut.
Corman said people are rushing to judgment after the release of the Freeh report, and that everyone needs to wait until the Tim Curley and Gary Schultz trials are finished for more information about Penn State’s involvement to come out.
“The perpetrator has been taken off the street, and nobody is shooting anybody,” he said. “People need to relax and wait for the facts to come out.”
Corman spoke about the issue Thursday at a Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County lunch.
Also at the lunch was state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Bellefonte. He agreed that more facts need to emerge before people make a “knee-jerk reaction.”
Though the Freeh report’s findings were not unexpected, Pennsylvania residents are still trying to wrap their heads around it and understand it more fully, Benninghoff said.
He added that people should think about the funding issue objectively and not just blame the entire university for the actions of a few.
“It is easy to say what you would have done,” Benninghoff said.
Benninghoff also said cutting funding from Penn State would affect people who did nothing wrong — the students.
Current and future students did not cover anything up and should not be punished, he said.
“Reducing appropriations to send a message is not a good idea,” he said. “I do not see Harrisburg doing that as a disciplinary type thing.”
A spokesman for state Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Rush Township, said Thursday that Conklin agrees with his fellow local legislators that “it would be premature to slash appropriations whatsoever.”
“This is a story that’s not going to go away any time soon,” said Tor Michaels. “The more the facts become available, the more we can make educated decisions.”
Michaels also said state funding cuts would punish many for the actions of a few. He said families statewide depend on the appropriations to help keep tuition affordable.
“For us to take any action that might hurt working-class families who might send their kids to Penn State, at this juncture that seems not like a good direction to head,” he said.
Thursday, Corman also addressed the Joe Paterno statue question, saying that it would be too quick a decision to take it down before all the trials are finished and the dust has settled.
“The statue can stay another year or so,” he said. “It is not going to hurt anything.”
Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan
Chris Rosenblum contributed to this report.