Council of Trustees Handbook 717-783-1540 Higher Education: Primer March 25, 2022 - Page 11 Other University Activities and Special Circumstances Because of the breadth of activities with which they are involved, universities often intersect with other parts of the state budget. Some universities with academic medical centers and other teaching hospitals receive funding through the Department of Human Services as part of the Medical Assistance budget. As Pennsylvania’s land-grant institution, Penn State University has an important role in supporting agriculture in the state. It receives funding for agricultural research and for its county extension offices. These programs help bring cutting-edge research into the field and help farmers and other agricultural industries be more productive and efficient. Along with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinary Laboratory, the commonwealth leverages two university-based facilities as part of its Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System (PADLS). The Penn State Animal Diagnostic Laboratory and the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center help perform animal health, research, and diagnostic programs. This partnership helps ensure that Pennsylvania maintains rapid and precise diagnostic capabilities to deal with animal-related disease outbreaks and ensure a safe food supply. The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine is the only veterinary institution in the commonwealth. Penn Vet has educated the majority of practicing veterinarians in the commonwealth and delivers research and medical solutions to the agricultural industry. From time-to-time, policymakers address special circumstances with other appropriations in the state budget. For example, the General Assembly appropriated money to help pay for the installation of fire sprinklers in dorms following the Seton Hall fire in 2000. Capital Funding Capital funding helps institutions with their buildings and infrastructure needs. The way in which the commonwealth helps institutions varies by sector. Generally, for its public four-year institutions, Pennsylvania uses general obligation debt to provide capital allocations to the institutions or system, depending on the type of university (e.g., state-related or PASSHE). The institution retains autonomy to make project decisions. Community colleges receive debt service support subsidies for approved projects from the state’s operating budget. Generally, this program pays for one-half of the debt service or lease costs for approved projects. The PASSHE universities also receive dedicated funding for deferred maintenance through a portion of the realty transfer tax as part of the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund (Key ’93). This funding also flows from the commonwealth to the system, and then is allocated through a formula by the Board of Governors to the universities. Budgetary Trends Higher education operating appropriations from the General Fund were just over $1.72 billion in 2021/22. Adding to this total, the General Assembly appropriated $50 million in federal American Rescue Plan dollars specifically to PASSHE, which Congress made available to states to help respond to challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.