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Monday, 30 July 2012

State Senator Mike Stack who says he wants more than a promise from Penn State that it will not spend taxpayer’s money on the NCAA fine or lawsuits and legal fees related to the Jerry Sandusky case.

As Penn State continues to feel the fallout from the sex abuse scandal, it’s crucial that the state legislature takes the steps needed to ensure that state-allocated funds are only used toward academic advancement, rather than paying fines and civil lawsuit settlements,” Stack said.

Stack said Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities should be subject to the state’s open records law. In addition, the state should require institutions to show transparency on how they spend their state allocations.

Stack tried to amend budget appropriation proposals in June that would have offered more transparency, accountability and openness by requiring state-related universities — Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln — to clearly define where their state allocation goes.

Under the senator’s proposal, state money would be kept in a separate account from other university funds and would only be used for student aid, professor or employee salaries, capital projects, technology, equipment, and research-related projects. Penn State is receiving about $227 million this year from the state.

“The only way to truly ensure that Penn State does not use taxpayer dollars to pay the $60 million in fines that the NCAA has sanctioned is to require the school to create a separate bank account for taxpayer money and limit how the university can spend the state appropriation,” Stack said. “My measures accomplish this goal. It’s a simple, common-sense way for state-related universities to spend tax dollars with openness and transparency.”

Stack says there’s more than enough time during the fall legislative session which begins September 24th for the General Assembly to pass legislation to include the four state-related universities in the state’s Open Records Law.

As for Sandusky, he is expected to be sentenced in September after being convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys over a period of 15 years, with some of the incidents happening at Penn State football team facilities.

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