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Collapse of Pennsylvania budget talks leaves higher ed aid in limbo

| Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, 6:45 a.m.
Pennsylvania capitol in Harrisburg.
Pennsylvania capitol in Harrisburg.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The collapse of budget negotiations is leaving state aid to five Pennsylvania universities in limbo three months into the fiscal year.

The Pennsylvania Capitol will be empty Thursday, and the House has no plans to return before Oct. 16.

House Republican Leader Dave Reed says the state needs the money to pay for the aid before the chamber sends the legislation to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. However, the House is thus far unwilling to deliver a tax package that Wolf deems large enough to deal with Pennsylvania's deficit.

That's stalling nearly $600 million in aid to Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln and Penn's veterinary school, plus authorization for another $52 million for Penn State's agricultural research and extension programs.

The schools provide services to the state or tuition discounts to in-state students.

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