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The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) held its quarterly Board of Governors meeting Oct. 5-6 at the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg. At the top of Thursday’s agenda was a vote on PASSHE’s appropriation request for fiscal year 2012-13. PASSHE has estimated that their total budget will be approximately $31 million more than last year, assuming a $5 million increase in salaries and wages, a 3 percent increase in utility costs, and about 8.5 percent increase in benefits costs. (Their budget projections do not factor in pay adjustments for the six bargaining units – including APSCUF – with which the State System is still negotiating.)

To help make up a portion of the budget gap, the board voted to request a slight increase in the state appropriation of 2.1 percent – $8.6 million more than what was received this year. The total appropriation request is $421.4 million. As you likely remember, PASSHE received an 18 percent cut in this year’s state budget.

In his remarks to the Board of Governors, APSCUF president Steve Hicks asked its members to consider the State System’s value when making its budget decisions. From his remarks: