– Citing the hundreds of millions in state funding sent to Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities each year, Rep. Ryan Warner (R-Fayette/Westmoreland) has introduced legislation to make the universities subject to the state’s Right-to-Know Law.
“Taxpayers deserve to know how their money is being spent by these universities, plain and simple,” Warner said. “Other educational institutions funded by the Commonwealth are subject to the law already. This is a matter of fairness among the institutions and accountability to our citizens.”
Currently, universities within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, community colleges and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency fall under the Right-to-Know Law. The state-related universities – University of Pittsburgh, Penn State, Temple and Lincoln – are specifically exempt.
Collectively, those four universities received nearly $600 million in state funding in the 2021-22 state budget.
Under Warner’s House Bill 2259
, the Right-to-Know Law would apply to all four state-related universities and their associated branch campuses and graduate schools. The legislation would provide some exceptions for research and development information, the identity of donors, unpublished materials, and information on examinations and testing.
The bill also would require the universities and their affiliates to file reports by May 30 of each year to include the following information:
All information required by Form 990 or an equivalent form of the United States Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, entitled the Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, regardless of whether the state-related institution and its affiliates are required to file the form by the federal government.
Salaries of all officers and directors.
The highest 25 salaries paid to employees.