With today’s announcement by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, the future for Kentucky football improved.
Governor Beshear announced this morning “a plan to approve the issuance of bonds by Kentucky’s public universities for campus improvements supported by university revenues.”
The most important part of the plan is that the “bonds will be issued by the individual universities over the coming months, and will allow the schools to fund critical renovation or construction projects at no cost to Kentucky taxpayers.”
This is huge because the state budget is tight and prior to this announcement, it was assumed that the General Assembly would have had to find money to finance the renovation of Commonwealth Stadium.
Some quotes from this morning’s press conference:
“Agency bonds will meet the growing needs of our universities with no impact on the General Fund, as they will be paid for through existing revenue streams such as student fees and athletic revenues,” said Gov. Beshear. “I appreciate the universities’ continued good stewardship during these tough economic times. At a time when we are pushing our students to pursue higher education, it’s imperative that they have adequate classrooms, housing and facilities, and the issuance of these bonds will accelerate those projects to meet those needs quickly.”[...]
“I appreciate the universities through donations and internal funds doing their part to develop better academic facilities, and especially applaud UK athletics for stepping up and funding the science center. The concept has been well-received by the Senate Majority Caucus,” said Senate President Robert Stivers.
“I’m in favor of using these agency bonds to do these projects, and I’m particularly impressed at the way UK President Capilouto is using athletic revenues to help build an academic facility,” said House Speaker Greg Stumbo.
President Eli Capilouto offered some comments as well this morning.
We are here this morning because of your leadership and your willingness to partner with us, as educational institutions, united to provide Kentucky with the best education, research and service,” Capilouto said at a Frankfort news conference with the governor and legislative leaders who are supporting UK’s proposal. “In offering your support for us to self-finance facilities that will help dramatically improve and transform our campuses, you are voicing your faith in Kentucky’s future as well.
As a university, we must create affordable access to a 21st century education for more students. This initiative speaks directly to those concerns and those needs. We will help fund and shape our own destiny in a way that helps the state preserve its capacity for growth.”