Despite opposition from area judge executives and Morehead State University, officials with the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce say they support the bill to make the University of Pikeville a state school.
The chamber officials say the number of people with bachelor degrees in the region is nearly 86% lower than the rest of the state. They say making UPIKE a state supported school would lessen the gap which means more jobs and industry in the area.
"We don't have the affordability for them to go ahead and get that four year degree because they don't have the local access to a university. The closest university is two and a half hours away," said Brad Hall with the Pike County Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber officials say the multi-county coal severance money that would be used would not affect individual county coal severance funds.