HARRISBURG, Nov. 18, 2011 —  The Senate Education Committee has unanimously approved state Sen. Lisa Boscola’s legislation (SB 1239) that would strip out antiquated state mandates and enable state system colleges to save money by operating more efficiently.

“My bill embraces the old adage ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’ by removing old and unnecessary contracting costs,” Boscola said. “My legislation would allow the schools to avoid duplicative costs and streamline various management and contracting processes.

Boscola’s legislation would give the state’s 14 State System of Higher Education (SSHE) universities more flexibility to achieve greater efficiencies in project management costs associated with procurement, construction, and renovation.  Savings can occur as a result of streamlining the multiple levels of legal reviews, leading to more timely decision making processes regarding procurement and contract approvals, as well as more efficient local management of construction and renovation projects.

She said the state’s Open Records Law already provides for the kind of public disclosure that the current “Commonwealth Attorneys Act” imposes in the form of lengthy and often duplicative contracting steps.

“The cost of a college education is slowly becoming out of reach for too many bright and promising people,” Boscola said. “As government funding dwindles, our State System schools are searching for every opportunity to control costs and keep tuition manageable.

“While this isn’t a complete solution to college funding problems, it would help reduce unnecessary costs and help schools save money.

Despite her opposition, Boscola said the Legislature last summer cut state funding to SSHE schools by a total of 18 percent ($90.6 million) for the 2011-12 budget year.

Senate Bill 1239 now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

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