Editorial: Holding university funding hostage will not solve this impasse



We depend on our leaders to solve problems when they arise.

Whether it is a state of emergency in the face of a hurricane or the recognition of a new type of fraud and its declaration of crime, the people we elect to lead our government must find ways to identify what is wrong and correct it.

The problem is, not all solutions are a good idea.

The Wolf administration messed up when the State Department failed to take action to secure an amendment to the primary ballot, skipping necessary ads that would have allowed voters to weigh in on extending the timeframe to prosecute victims adult sexual abuse of children. civil justice.

The error was yet another knife in an open wound for many – especially those whose victimization was uncovered by the grand jury report on sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. The process to get it to the poll would have to start all over again – unless Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward R-Hempfield allows a bill to bypass the process. She wouldn’t.

State officials Jim Gregory, R-Blair County, and Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, saw the problem and tried to correct it. They say they have a group of lawmakers on their side who are ready to play chicken, withholding funding from state-linked universities unless Ward blinks first.

Their hearts are in the right place. They see an injustice and are ready to make a big gesture to correct it. But it’s a solution like crossing a frozen pond to save someone who has fallen into it. It is a heavy step which will cause cracks which will produce more problems.

The state-linked universities – Pitt, Penn State, Temple, and Lincoln – have done no harm. Reducing their funding would not help victims. This would create new ones, as students and families already struggling with heavy tuition fees become collateral damage. This could impact employment in some of the state’s biggest economic engines at a time when more unemployment is the last thing the state needs.

The bill that Gregory and Rozzi are about to pass – a bill that has the support of Pro Tempore Senate Speaker Jake Corman, R-Center County, and Senator Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills – is the kind of fix that might solve the problem. . But this is not the case with the taking hostage of the state’s largest universities.

A better solution would be for Corman to put pressure on Ward if he thinks the bill would do the trick. Gregory and Rozzi say they have enough senators to pass the bill by a 40-vote margin. It seems likely, as he cleared House 152-49. If this is true, those senators, especially Republicans, should be pushing Ward in that direction as well.

Spreading suffering doesn’t help anyone. Use common sense and bipartite agreement does it.



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