FY 2000 Commonwealth Appropriation: 3.5% Increase
On June 9, the Pennsylvania House gave final legislative approval (Vote: 192-7) to Senate Bill 740, Penn's Commonwealth appropriation for Fiscal Year 2000. The Senate had previously approved SB 740 on May 11 by a vote of 49-0. The bill was signed into law by the Governor on June 18 as Act 43A of 1999.
Senate Bill 740 provides a total of $37,748,000 for the University, a 3.5 percent increase over FY 1999 levels (see chart below). The funding includes $32,276,000 for the Veterinary School (a 2.5% increase), $4,034,000 for the Medical School, and $938,000 for the Dental Clinics. Also, $500,000 in new funding for cardiovascular studies was added to the University's appropriation.
The General Assembly also approved several smaller University appropriations funded through separate bills, including $219,000 for the University Museum (a 10% increase), $600,000 for the Cancer Center, and $132,000 for cardiovascular studies at HUP. In addition, the General Appropriations bill (HB 980) includes $4.4 million in Museum Assistance Grant funding, which is awarded on a competitive basis to museums and cultural institutions not receiving direct grants. Last year, the Morris Arboretum received approximately $100,000 through this program.
The General Assembly approved two equipment programs which will benefit the University. The Legislature approved $6 million for the higher education equipment grant program, the same level of funding as last year. In FY '99, Penn received $297,000 through this program. The engineering equipment grant program was funded at $1 million (same as last year); Penn's share is expected to be approximately $60,000 from this matching program.
Finally, the General Appropriations bill restored $18.5 million in funding for the Community Access Fund, a pool of dollars designed to assist hospitals experiencing losses due to uncompensated care. This fund was created three years ago to help offset losses hospitals have incurred under Act 35 of 1996 (welfare reform legislation). With federal match, there will be a total of $37 million available through the fund. It is anticipated that the University of Pennsylvania Health System will receive approximately $4 million under this program.
-- Paul S. Cribbins, Director of Commonwealth Relations
Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 1, July 13, 1999