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Kentucky CPE president keeping tabs on last two legislative days

Stu Johnson

Days 59 and 60 in a Kentucky General Assembly session are typically set aside to consider vetoes offered by the governor. But, other legislative questions can also be answered on the final two days.

Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education President Aaron Thompson said the session’s produced a great budget for higher education. Senate Bill One, signed into law by Governor Beshear, establishes an endowment fund to support collaborative research among universities. Thompson admits there is a funding question.

“So far money hasn’t been appropriated to it. It really will take money to make that work. Obviously, it’s an endowment process. So, we’re waiting to see what happens there,” said Thompson.

Although lower than requested by CPE, Thompson said a 7% increase in funding will both boost the base support for each school and address property insurance costs. And there’s $115 million in the second year for performance-based funding.

The CPE is being called upon through a legislative resolution to do various studies including the feasibility of an osteopathy program at EKU, a vet school at Murray, and a move up to research status two at a comprehensive university. And Thompson said his governing agency is also being called upon for an examination of converting Hazard Community and Technical College to a four-year institution. Kentucky lawmakers return to Frankfort Friday and Monday to wrap up the 60-day session.

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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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