Kentucky Public University Presidents Push for Higher Education Funding During Mid-Session

Feb 12, 2018

Credit Alexey Stiop, 123rf Stock Photo

Kentucky public university presidents are making their case for state funding to help with anticipated pension reforms along with other campus needs. 

The House Budget Review Subcommittee heard from university leaders the over the last three weeks.

The ultimate pension bill is likely to have a stronger emphasis on defined contribution benefits, such as 401-K plans.

Northern Kentucky University President Jerry St. Amand said big drops in the stock market last week probably did raise some university employee eyebrows.

“Yeah, there’s that skittishness, but on the other hand, every defined contribution plan that I know of also has, among your choices, those zero risk options,” said Amand.

Governor Bevin’s two year budget calls for a 6.25% reduction in funding for many agencies including higher education. Bowling Green Representative and former House Speaker Jody Richards rejected that suggestion.

“We don’t need to cut our universities 6.25 percent. That’s eating your seed corn. We don’t need to be doing that. We need to think of the pension problem as a 30 year problem, like a mortgage,” said Richards.

A final vote on the biennial state budget is still several weeks away.