University bonding bill -- including Commonwealth Stadium upgrades -- is on fast track

02/06/2013 08:02 AM

The university construction projects that need General Assembly approval are on pace to get it quickly in the 2013 General Assembly after garnering unanimous support with no discussion in the House budget committee Wednesday morning.

Democratic Rep. Rick Rand, the chairman of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, told reporters after Wednesday’s meeting that he expects the bill to pass the House as early as Thursday after it gets its third reading. It received its first reading on the House floor Tuesday.

And he said he didn’t expect any snags for the bill in the Senate.

The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee approved the measure, House Bill 7, that allows seven of the public universities to sell bonds to finance construction projects, including renovations of Commonwealth Stadium at the University of Kentucky and a new UK Science building and revamped Gatton College of Business building as well as a student center at the University of Louisville and dorm renovations at Murray State University.

The universities will use dedicated revenue to pay those bonds. UK, for instance, will use athletics department revenue to pay for the stadium upgrades and two-thirds of the science building’s cost.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers endorsed the proposal when Gov. Steve Beshear and the university presidents, led by UK’s Eli Capilouto, announced it Jan. 10.


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