As part of the 2022-23 state budget, lawmakers recently approved funding for the University of Pittsburgh and other state-related universities, including Penn State, Temple and Lincoln universities. Funding awarded to these institutions are referred to as “non-preferred appropriations” in state budget lingo. Rep. Matthew Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset) cast a “no” vote on the bill and issued the following statement explaining his vote:
“This same time last summer, I stepped to this microphone to share my concerns about funding the University of Pittsburgh due to their fetal tissue research. Members of the southwest delegation approached and met with the chancellor to express our issues including the university’s endowment divestitures from the gas and oil industry – an industry that employs many in my region – and most importantly the grotesque experimentation they are doing on discarded babies.
“I was worried last year about the impacts a ‘no’ vote would have had. Factors like the loss of jobs at Pitt and the cost of tuition, and I made the hard decision to vote ‘no.’ Since that time the chancellor at Pitt made his own decision – the decision that he was not going to make any movement in the direction the legislators closest to them were asking for.
“Today, Senate Bill 1284
includes all the non-preferred universities in Pennsylvania and will affect thousands of students, parents and jobs and the chancellors of the other universities should call for the resignation of Patrick Gallagher.
“Pitt continues to say that the money for fetal research and the money for tuition assistance is segregated, but as I said a year ago, the money in my right pocket and the money in my left pocket spends the same.
“This issue is not political to me. I am retiring at the end of this term. The respect for life is, however, very important to me and my constituents.
“I’m proud of the ‘no’ vote that I cast in response to Pitt’s funding.”
Video of Dowling’s statement is available here.
Representative Matthew Dowling
51st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia Hippler