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Temple, Penn State, Other Schools In Middle Of State Budget Battle

HARRISBURG (CBS) - Funding for four state-related universities is up in the air for the moment because legislative Democrats, attempting to gain leverage in the budget process, are blocking approval.

The final budget agreement cuts funding for Temple, Lincoln, Pitt and Penn State by about 19-percent. However, the bills approving those funds are separate from the main budget bill and they require a two-thirds vote, not a simple majority.

Monday evening, as minority Democrats signaled their intent to hold up funding for Temple University, Montgomery County House Republican Kate Harper issued this warning:

"You are voting for Temple, or you are voting against Temple."

Philadelphia House Democrat Marc Cohen says a "no" vote was a vote for Temple funding.

"I think we can do better. If we wait longer, we probably will do better."

However, Republican majority leaders say funding levels will not increase. They say they will simply move ahead with a vote on the main budget and funding for the state-related schools may hang in the balance till fall if need be.

Reported by Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio

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