PA Senate Democrats Still Playing Games

Yesterday, the Senate rejected a bill to fund the University of Pittsburgh by a 30-20 vote.  (It was actually 30 ‘yes’ votes, but the bill needed 2/3 majority to pass.  It it is one of several “non-prefered” bills – for state-related universities, museums, and so forth – that are funding outside the general appropriations act).

But the no votes were not the result of the belief the bill spent too much, or even too little, but on the grounds that it is “unconstitutional and unwise” to vote on funding for state universities until after the budget is completed.

Of course, Senate Democrats didn’t have a problem when they voted on “non-prefereds” before they voted on  the general appropriation bill in 2008, or in 2007, or in 2006, or before the budget was finalized in 2005. 

Were all those acts unconstitutional?  Can we force state-related universities and museums to pay back the money they were awarded then?  Or are Senate Democrats just playing a political game and throwing around the term “unconstitutional” to make themselves seem relevant in the budget debate?