February 8, 2019 Legislative Update
Feb 8th, 2019
Part II of the 2019 session of the Kentucky General Assembly began last Tuesday, February 5th. On Thursday, February 7th, President Caboni and...
April 19, 2018 Legislative Update
Apr 19th, 2018
The 2018 Kentucky General Assembly came to a close Saturday evening, and among the final actions of the legislature were votes to override Governor...
March 22, 2018 Legislative Update
- Author: Thursday, March 22nd, 2018
The Senate budget was unveiled earlier this week, and it includes significant differences from the House version. To summarize, the Senate budget includes the 6.25% reduction in our state appropriation as was proposed by the Governor. That cut is eliminated in the House budget using revenue gained from tax increases on cigarettes and opioids. The Senate rejected those revenue measures.
The Senate included funding for equity for WKU and NKU, which for WKU amounts to an additional $2.3 million in our base in each year. WKU and NKU received a portion of the equity funding in the current biennial budget, and this would be the final portion that CPE proposed for our two institutions in an effort to create a more equal per student funding among the comprehensive universities.
The Senate included funding for the university performance funding pool in the amount of $23.6 million in the first year and $31,265,800 in the second year. The House includes $7,665,800 in the second year of the biennium for performance funding.
While the Governor and House included matching funds for asset preservation, the Senate did not include any capital funding for postsecondary education institutions in their budget.
The Kentucky Mesonet is funded in both the House and Senate budgets, but they use different fund sources.
In the corresponding revenue bill that accompanies the budget bill, the Senate eliminates the 5.1% penalty payment universities are requirement to make to to KTRS on employees who elect to go into our optional retirement program. This is a high priority for us and would provide significant savings.
At this point neither pension bill, SB1 and SB66, has moved forward. You can view SB1 here: http://www.klsreports.com/ShowDocument.aspx?BTextID=205866.
SB66 can be viewed here: http://www.klsreports.com/ShowDocument.aspx?BTextID=205467.
The Senate version of the budget bill can be viewed here: http://www.klsreports.com/ShowDocument.aspx?BTextID=206174.
The Senate version of the revenue bill can be viewed here: http://www.klsreports.com/ShowDocument.aspx?BTextID=206178.
House and Senate leaders will likely begin conference committee negotiations on the budget bill Friday, and we expect that process to continue throughout the weekend and into next week.
Other bills we are currently tracking that affect higher education are HB247, HB592 and SB130. HB247 would make changes to the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES), allowing students to begin to access KEES money for dual credit in high school. It would also limit the use of KEES money to tuition, mandatory fees and books. At this point the bill has passed out of the House Education committee, but has not been called for a vote on the floor yet. The bill can be viewed here: http://www.klsreports.com/ShowDocument.aspx?BTextID=203728.
HB592 is an omnibus statutory relief bill for the public universities. This bill addresses various statutes which, if amended, would provide needed financial and administrative relief to the universities. The bill has passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate. The bill can be viewed here: http://www.klsreports.com/ShowDocument.aspx?BTextID=206182.
SB130 would align the campus crime reporting requirements in the Minger and Clery Acts. The bill has passed both chambers and now goes to the Governor to be signed into law. The bill can be viewed here: http://www.klsreports.com/ShowDocument.aspx?BTextID=204165.
There are five working days left in the legislative session, and there is still plenty of work to be done. As always you can view all bills WKU is tracking here: https://www.wku.edu/govrelations/documents/legislative-tracking-sheet-3-21-18.pdf