House passes synthetic drug bill and revamped U. of Pikeville bill that now provides tuition grants

03/13/2012 05:54 PM

A measure creating a college tuition grant system for Eastern Kentuckians and a bill to outlaw synthetic drugs both moved from the House to the Senate on Tuesday.

A retooled House Bill 260 that started out as a bill to bring the independent University of Pikeville into the state university system passed the House 89-7 with all seven “No” votes coming from Republicans.

The measure creates a formula for unused multi-county coal severance tax money to go toward scholarships and grants for Eastern Kentucky natives to lower their tuition bills at Kentucky universities to around $7,000.

That approach developed after some lawmakers, other university leaders and even some Eastern Kentucky county officials expressed concern about the cost of bringing the University of Pikeville into the state system — a plan that came up suddenly in December.

Also on Tuesday, the House unanimously passed House Bill 481 that would make illegal the chemical concoction and sale of synthetic drugs.

That bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. John Tilley of Hopkinsville, passed 96-0.

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