Plan directs coal taxes to University of Pikeville

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - House Speaker Greg Stumbo is promoting a
plan to use coal severance tax revenue to cover the cost of making
the private University of Pikeville a part of the state's system of
public universities.

If the proposal is approved by the legislature, the University
of Pikeville would be the state's only public university in
Kentucky's eastern coalfields.

Proponents of making the private school a public institution say
Kentucky's mountain residents need a four-year state university
closer to their homes. The nearest ones now, Eastern Kentucky
University and Morehead State University, are more than two hours
away from Pikeville.

Gov. Steve Beshear has ordered a study to look at the benefits
and drawbacks of the proposal that comes amid severe budget woes
that have forced cuts in government services and programs.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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