More judge executives oppose HB 260

By Katie Roach | 

More counties are beginning to take a stance against House Bill 260.

Some judge executives say they do not want their coal severance money used to allow the University of Pikeville to become a public university.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says this will not only lower tuition, but also give eastern Kentucky an economic boost.

Judge Executives in eastern Kentucky already see very little of multi-county coal severance money, which is why many of them are against using that money to make UPIKE a part of the state public university system.

"We feel like that if it's going to become a state school, it should be funded like all the other state schools through the general fund," said Letcher County Judge Executive Jim Ward.

Letcher County passed a resolution this week that opposes House Bill 260, and Harlan County has also passed a similar resolution.

But the counties can only oppose the idea, they can not stop it from happening.

"When it comes down to it we can do a resolution, we can go down and talk to them, but it is up to the legislatures and the governor to decide where this money goes," said Ward.

"It's hard to support it wholly because of the way it's funded, it's not the concept," said Bell County Judge Executive Albey Brock.

Brock and Ward both say they support the idea of UPIKE becoming a public university, but the legislature needs to find a different way to fund it.

No one has been able to give a different solution as to where the money should come from.

On Tuesday, the house committee is expected to finish hearing oral arguments from the UPIKE administration and Morehead State University President Wayne Andrews.

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