With funding release for State Fair Board project added, House approves postsecondary education study
FRANKFORT — House members joined senators in calling for a comprehensive review of Kentucky’s public postsecondary education system, but added provisions from a separate resolution that releases $180 million to the Kentucky State Fair Board for capital construction.
Senate Joint Resolution 98 received support from the House in a 96-0 vote Thursday. The call for a study by the Council on Postsecondary Education is backed by Republican Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester.
House members approved a floor amendment in a voice vote that adds provisions Senate Joint Resolution 96, which releases $180 million in capital construction funds to the State Fair Board in fiscal year 2024 for an expansion project of the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. The Senate passed that resolution Wednesday in a 36-0 vote, but not enough time is left in the session to pass the separate measure.
The Senate later concurred with the change to Senate Joint Resolution 98 in a 37-0 vote Thursday night.
Rep. Jason Petrie, R-Elkton, said last year’s House Bill 1 made certain funds available to the State Fair Board if proposal requirements were met and approved for release by the General Assembly.
“We’ve reviewed the report and this amendment would allow those funds to be let to the State Fair Board,” Petrie, the chair of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee.
Stivers presented Senate Joint Resolution 98 to the committee Thursday morning. There, it received a vote of 23-0.
As for the CPE study, a report would be due in December before the next legislative session begins. Stivers has said questions that need to be explored include leaving technical education to the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and traditional academic subjects to regional four-year public universities and if a public four-year university would be feasible in Southeastern Kentucky.
Rep. Bobby McCool, R-Van Lear, presented Stivers’ resolution in the House. Last week, the Senate voted 35-0 on the resolution.
“There’s a lot of questions, but that should be their (CPE’s) function, and we’re asking them to perform this function. Give us what you think the state of our higher education system is,” Stivers told reporters after introducing the resolution earlier this session.