Providing funding to Penn State will be a priority for Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre, as he was re-elected as the Senate Majority Appropriations Chairman for the 2013-14 legislative session Tuesday.
The Appropriations Committee is largely responsible for reviewing all legislation for its fiscal impact on the Commonwealth and also plays a crucial role in developing the state budget, according to a release issued by Corman.
In the release, Corman said he was looking forward to facing the difficult issues within Pennsylvania’s budget.
“I am honored that my colleagues have once again elected me to serve as the Majority Appropriations Chairman,” Corman said in the release. “We face challenging economic times in the future [and] I remain committed to holding the line on spending and seeking long-term solutions to the fiscal issues impacting the Commonwealth.”
Corman represents the 34th Senatorial District of Pennsylvania, which includes Centre County, as well as Mifflin, Juniata, Perry and Union counties.
For these and other reasons, his re-election as appropriations chairman will have big returns for Centre County, Centre County Commissioner Steve Dershem said.
“It’s meant a great deal to our county to have the support of such a strong voice in Harrisburg and I don’t think that can be understated in terms of when we need his clout behind some kind of legislation,” Dershem said. “ I know that whenever I make a call to his office, he’s always extremely accommodating, which is certainly advantageous in producing quick, effective results.”
Corman said his re-election as appropriations chairman also has an impact on the future of state funding in accordance with Penn State University, most notably given the role he plays in reviewing the amount of appropriations the university receives each year.
The senator discussed this role and said that though he believes the state has gotten through the worst of the budget tightening it has experienced in recent years, it still remains important that his committee work diligently to maintain a balanced budget. He said he hopes this budget can continue to provide funding to Penn State and other public institutions in Pennsylvania.
“This is significant because since Penn State really only gets money from two places, state appropriations and tuition,” Corman said. “Obviously these funds are very significant in keeping tution down and thus it’s important we work hard to preserve them and the state’s relationship with the university.”
Greg Stewart, chairman of the Centre County Democrats, also voiced his appreciation of Corman’s continued support for the county, and noted that the senator’s local roots are beneficial for the community.
Stewart said whenever a local representative like Corman, who is very high-ranking in terms of Pennsylvania legislation, is appointed, any county is going to benefit.
“Obviously it’s also great that he is someone who knows the community and has lived in the community, which allows him to better understand many of the issues our county faces,” Stewart said.
Since first being elected to Pennsylvania State Senate in 1998, Corman has served three terms in office, and is currently in the midst of his fourth.