The University of Pittsburgh’s annual appropriation from state lawmakers in currently on hold in the Pennsylvania State House.
The Commonwealth sends more than $580 million each year to its four state-related universities – Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple and Lincoln. These funds are typically used to subsidize in-state student tuition, allowing the school to offer discounted rates to Pennsylvania residents.
As an example, Pitt’s annual tuition for in-state undergraduates is $19,679, while the charge rises to $33,706 for out-of-state.
In recent years, Pitt has drawn criticism from the House’s most conservative members for its fetal tissue research. A year ago, 51 House GOP members opposed Pitt’s funding in its standalone bill.
And on Monday, a proposal to require the four schools to promise they are not conducting research or experiments with fetal tissue from elective abortions was added to a House state budget bill.
Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Schuylkill) sponsored the amendment which passed by a 108-92 vote. Three Republicans broke party lines and voted against the amendment – Lori Mizgorski (R-Allegheny), Christopher Quinn (R-Delaware) and Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery).
The amendment reads, “In order to receive a payment under subsection (a), the State-related university must not engage in research or experimentation using fetal tissue obtained from an elective abortion.”
“My goal is not to stop the funding,” said Knowles. “As a matter of fact, I want to help Pitt get themselves out of a problem they have created for themselves.”
This story has been updated to reflect Pitt’s in-state versus out-of-state tuition.