July 13 signaled the end to a brief two week delay in finalizing the FY 2016-17 budget—a much appreciated resolution following the eight month stalemate of FY 2015-16. The new budget provides a 2.5 percent increase in the University of Pittsburgh’s state appropriation. Outside of the base funding, the University received a $1 million increase in Academic Medical Center funding. The 2.5 percent increase brings the base appropriation to $146.77 million and Academic Medical Center funding to $12.14 million. Together, the appropriation and Academic Medical Center funding total $158.916 million, a 3 percent overall increase.
The new state budget revenue package, totaling $1.3 billion, includes a number of relatively small sources of new revenue such as higher or new taxes on PA lottery winnings, casino table games, digital downloads of music, movies, and apps, and cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco purchases. The package also anticipates increased revenue from expanded liquor sales and gaming. There were no broad-based taxes implemented or increased as part of the agreement.
While the passage of the 2016-17 budget did not require months of advocacy following the success of Pitt Day in Harrisburg in March, it is the support that you have demonstrated in the recent past that encouraged strong support in the General Assembly for an increase in our state funding.
Thank you for your strong and vocal support for the University of Pittsburgh and public higher education in Pennsylvania! Your advocacy is critical to our continued support in Harrisburg. Our mission is an ongoing one, and we look forward to engaging you throughout the year through our programming and advocacy opportunities.