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Promoted as visionary research legislation, it comes out of the Kentucky State Senate

Senate President Robert Stivers presides over Rules Committee and Committee on Committees 2-28-24
Stu Johnson
Senate President Robert Stivers presides over Rules Committee and Committee on Committees 2-28-24

Regarded as a top priority in the Kentucky Senate, SB 1 is on its way to the State House. The measure, championed by Senate President Robert Stivers establishes an endowed research fund.

Stivers told fellow senators the measure could encourage and stimulate research between state universities with collaboration not competition. At least two universities would be needed to apply for funds in five different pots.

In giving examples, Stivers said maybe EKU and Morehead State could get together with an engineering school.

“To come up with some type of material that helps us go into and beyond our space here and around the world and to the moon or wherever it may be,” said Stivers.

Stivers is not suggesting a funding level at this time. The Senate leader admitted he’s hopeful with substantial one-time money, but added determination about how much money will come through two-chamber budget work.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Gerald Neal told his colleagues this program could elevate the Commonwealth nationally and internationally.

“It sets us up for not only leadership in the field..it sets us up for accountability…sustainability. I don’t think we’ve even gotten to the corner to understand what this can mean,” said Neal.

The endowed research fund would be administered by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Stivers said the program would be reviewed after five years.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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