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The University’s funding from the state of Pennsylvania will increase slightly for fiscal year 2014, which includes the coming school year.

The state’s General Assembly passed nearly unanimously a bill appropriating $28.26 million to the School of Veterinary Medicine and the Center for Infectious Disease — which constitutes the bulk of Penn’s funding from the state. This represents about half a percent increase over the $28.1 million appropriated last year.

Last year: Penn Vet funding restored in Pa. state budget

“[Funding levels are] headed in the right direction,” said Hugh Allen, the director of commonwealth relations in Penn’s Office of Government and Community Affairs. “Many of the things we consider to be valuable — the nexus between what we do as an academic institution and as a resource to the community — were funded.”

The General Assembly also maintained levels for the Commonwealth Universal Research and Education program, which is funded by lawsuit settlements with tobacco companies. The University is expecting to receive between $8 million and $12 million from this fund to go toward health research, on par with previous years. The exact amount is determined by a formula that depends on the number of federal grants awarded to Penn researchers, Allen said.

Other recipients of state funding include the Wharton Small Business Development Center and the School of Nursing’s LIFE Program, a long-term care program. Funding for both of these programs will remain steady during the upcoming year.

Penn meets regularly with state lawmakers to lobby them to maintain funding.

“I would describe Penn’s efforts as educational in nature,” Allen said, noting that University representatives met with 237 of Pennsylvania’s 253 legislators between January and June.

“It’s educating legislators on the value Penn, as a major research institution, brings to the commonwealth,” he added.

Penn, which Allen called a “key anchor institution,” is the state’s second-largest private employer.

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