Gov. Tom Wolf may be about to make Happy Valley very happy.
Sources inside his administration told the Centre Daily Times that the budget planned for announcement Tuesday will include a significant jump in funding for Penn State. According to the information, the governor’s proposal would increase the university’s funding by 23 percent, a total of $49.6 million.
“This is the first part of a two-year plan to make Penn State whole and fully restore funding,” said a source.
Penn State has gotten used to disappointment with the release of gubernatorial budgets with both Republican and Democratic administrations.
In 2009, Ed Rendell proposed a $60 million cut. In 2011, Tom Corbett wanted to halve the university’s appropriation.
The Penn State total in Wolf’s budget is planned to be $263.7 million, according to the insider.
“The governor has had conversations with President Barron,” said the source. “He understands how important Penn State is to the state.”
Barron’s 2015-16 appropriation request went hand-in-hand with his emphasis on business and entrepreneurship at the university, stressing the university as an economic engine.
“The (c)ommonwealth’s investment in Penn State’s appropriation is an investment that transforms lives, promotes upward economic mobility, and provides the (c)ommonwealth with citizens who have the knowledge and skills to drive economic growth and innovation,” he wrote in his request to the state. “Penn State’s multiple campuses, agricultural research and cooperative extension programs, and other outreach activities have the potential to bring economic vitality to communities all across the (c)ommonwealth. We propose to do much more.”
Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said the university was “waiting until tomorrow for additional information on our state support.”
The source in Harrisburg said that the other state-related schools would also receive additional funding.