Legislative Update

Federal Relations

In Washington, Congressional appropriators are working to set program funding levels for fiscal year 2001considered so far is as follows:

The Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill has been considered in full committee in both the House and the Senate. The House version of the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill would provide $18.8 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an increase of $1 billion. It would increase the maximum Pell Grant to $3,500, a jump of $200. Close to $80 million is included for International Education. Graduate fellowships are funded as follows: $10 million for the Javits Fellowships for the next fiscal year, in addition to the $10 million which was appropriated in the last year's appropriations bill; and $31 million for Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN).

In the Senate , the NIH is funded at $20.5 billion, an increase of $2.7 billion. The maximum Pell Grant would be $3,650. For graduate fellowship programs, the Javits program would receive $1 million (to add to forward-funded monies) for this fiscal year, and $10 million for next fiscal year. GAANN would receive $33 million. International education would receive $72 million.

The House VA-HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee reported its 2001 funding levels. The bill included an increase of $167 million to $4.1 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF). The legislation contains an increase in funding of $113 million.

NASA, to a level of $13.7 billion. The Senate appropriations committee has not yet considered their bill.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to increase funding for basic research at the Department of Defense by 10 percent over last year, for total funding of $1.3 billion. Applied research funding would increase to $3.6 billion, a 5.4 percent increase. The House Appropriations Committee has just considered their measure, which reportedly recommends funding levels of $1.3 billion for basic research and $3.4 billion for applied research, respectively, for the Department of Defense.

The House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, which provides funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), recommended a freeze on funding for the NEH at last year's level of $115 million.

No action has been taken on the Department of Energy appropriations bill in either chamber.

The Clinton administration, meanwhile, is reiterating its commitment to education at all levels. President Clinton last week came to West Philadelphia's own Sulzberger Middle School to discuss two priority education programs--GEAR UP and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs program provides mentoring, tutoring, and financial support to help at-risk middle school students stay on the path to college. GEAR UP provides grants to partnerships of schools, colleges and universities, and community organizations to strengthen academics, raise expectations, and provide tutoring and college counseling. GEAR UP also supports state efforts to promote college awareness and provide scholarships for needy students.

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program funds after-school programs in 900 schools across the nation, serving 850,000 students. President Clinton announced $185 million in new grants through this program while speaking at Sulzberger. The program aims to provide safe, high-quality after-school opportunities that give students extra support and assistance with academic and social needs.

Commonwealth Relations

On May 16, the Pennsylvania House (194-4) and Senate (47-0) gave final approval to Senate Bill 1365, Penn's Commonwealth appropriation for Fiscal Year 2001. The bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 22, 2000, as Act 6A of 2000.

Senate Bill 1365 provides a total of $40,878,000 for the University, an increase of 7.3 percent over FY 2000 appropriations (see Table below). This amount represents the largest funding increase for the University in seven years. The funding includes $34,783,000 for the Veterinary School, an increase of $2.5 million or 7.8 percent. Also included in the bill is $4,034,000 for the Medical School, $938,000 for the Dental Clinics, $882,000 for Cardiovascular Studies, and $241,000 for the University Museum. It should be noted that the Museum appropriation and $132,000 of the Cardiovascular Studies appropriation were approved last year as separate non-preferred appropriations. This year the General Assembly consolidated these small appropriations into the University's primary bill.

In addition to the University's non-preferred appropriation, Penn will receive other funding through the General Appropriations (GA) bill (SB 1) approved by the Commonwealth. The Cancer Center will receive $600,000 through a Health Department line item. The bill includes $4.5 million in Museum Assistance Grant funding, which is awarded on a competitive basis to museums and cultural institutions not receiving direct grants. Last year, the Morris Arboretum received approximately $120,000 through this program. Two equipment programs which will benefit the University were included in the GA bill--$6 million for higher education equipment (last year Penn received approximately $290,000 under this program) and $1 million for engineering equipment (Penn's share last year--$60,000).

Finally, the General Appropriations bill included $17 million in funding for the Community Access Fund, a pool of dollars designed to assist hospitals experiencing losses due to uncompensated care. This fund was created four years ago to help offset losses hospitals have incurred under Act 35 of 1996 (welfare reform legislation). With a federal match, there will be a total of $37 million available through the fund. It is anticipated that the University of Pennsylvania Health System will receive approximately $4.5 million under this program

City and Community Relations

Since our last legislative update (Almanac March 28, 2000) the Street Administration Policy and Program Transition Team Committees (and their respective subcommittees) released their final reports. The Committees formed were: 1) Arts and Culture; 2) Economic Development 3) Faith-Based and Volunteer Initiatives; 4) Management and Operations; 5) Neighborhood Revitalization; 6) New Century; 7) Public Safety; 8) Social Services. These committees were created to provide the Street Administration with recommendations, priorities, and reasonable expectations for what could be accomplished by the Administration. Over 30 Penn faculty and staff contributed to one or more of these committees.

Two of the Economic Development Subcommittees' reports--Health Care Industry and the New Economy--focused heavily on the region's academic centers as assets that can enable Philadelphia to revitalize and grow its economy. The recommendations of these subcommittees are summarized below.

The New Economy Subcommittee focused on positioning Philadelphia as a premiere destination for entrepreneurs who participate in innovative start-ups that fuel future growth. To achieve this goal, the subcommittee proposed that the region initiate a university marketing consortium to promote Philadelphia as the "International Capital of New Economy Education" and to create strategies for retaining graduates. The New Economy Subcommittee suggested the State create focused centers of excellence in IT and Biosciences in educational institutions to capitalize on these institutions' existing relative strengths. Other initiatives included helping recent graduates start their own businesses built on ideas they developed in business, engineering, science or art schools; anchoring entrepreneurial neighborhood development at universities to develop opportunities for residents; and developing new business incubators and New Economy skills training programs. The report highlights the fact that the area's universities can provide a flow of talented people, business ideas, training for both residents and students, and coordination of incubation facilities while the city can provide help with land assembly, leadership in building relations with neighbors, business support for basic training, etc.

The Health Care Industry Subcommittee recommended three important initial steps for the Street Administration. First, the Mayor should clearly articulate the vision and goal for Philadelphia to become a global life sciences center. Second, the Mayor should establish a Life Sciences Economic Development Office accountable to him and responsible for coordinating ongoing City efforts to capitalize on this opportunity. Finally, the Mayor should be actively supporting efforts to use the tobacco funds to address critical health care financing and delivery issues particularly uncompensated care. The report also includes several specific strategies including: the creation of new tax incentives; a biomedical infrastructure development program; a venture capital program; and a marketing campaign to promote growth in the overall life sciences/health services sector of the Philadelphia economy; the creation of a new capital program to assist Philadelphia institutions to re-mission excess acute care capacity; and development of a comprehensive policy and new tools to help ensure the availability of a trained workforce to support the City's health care economy.

Descriptions of each of the committees and copies of their full reports can be found on the City of Philadelphia web site at www.phila.gov/.

--Carol R. Scheman, Vice President for Government, Community, and Public Affairs

University of Pennsylvania/Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

History of Non-Preferred Appropriation

(in thousands of dollars)

FY 1998 FY 1999 FY 2000
FY 2001
SB 1365
FY 2001
% Increase
Instruction $0 $0 $0 $ -- $ --
Medical Instruction 4,034 4,034 4,034 4,034 0.0
Dental Clinics 938 938 938 938 0.0
Cardiovascular Studies -- -- 6321 882 39.6
Veterinary Activities 30,498 31,489 32,276 34,783 7.8
University Museum -- -- 2192 241 10.0
Total University $35,470 $36,461 $38,099 $40,878 7.3

1 Includes $132,000 appropriated through separate non-preferred appropriation.

2 Appropriated through separate non-preferred appropriation.

as of 5/18/2000

Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 34, May 30, 2000

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