The House Democratic Whip Is on Our Side, but…

From yesterday’s Centre Daily Times, Rep. Mike Hanna, the House Democratic Whip, expresses his strong support for funding PASSHE and rejecting Gov Corbett’s budget proposal.

He strikes just the right tone, reminding the Governor (or whoever on the Governor’s staff does his reading for him) that PASSHE tuition hasn’t, in fact, skyrocketted or “gotten out of control,” a mistake (?) the Governor made during his budget address.  [The Governor seems unable to understand the difference between state-owned and state-related universities.]  Rep. Hanna also strikes the tone in his strong reminder that middle and working-class families in PA are the ones who suffer most from this proposal–exactly the people who seem to have voted for Governor Corbett because he convinced them he was on their side. 

I have one quibble with Rep. Hanna’s position.  Throughout the piece, he makes moves like this one:

These efforts now further complicate our ability to deal with the extreme budget cuts proposed by the governor.
He uses the terms extreme, catastrophic, etc, all of which are correct.  My concern, however, is that by so empatically labeling the cuts as extreme, Rep. Hanna is setting the stage for the Legislature to rationalize smaller but still horrific cuts and claim credit for compromising while doing so.
We need to do everything we can not to let that happen.  So I recommend writing a letter (not on university e-mail or letterhead!) thanking Representative Hanna for his support, and reminding him that even a fraction of the cuts Corbett has proposed are still nearly impossible for the universities to bear. 
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Filed under Advocacy, APSCUF, Budget, PASSHE, Penn State University, Representative Mike Hanna, Tom Corbett, University of Pittsburgh, West Chester University

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