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January 11, 2013

Gov. Beshear, lawmakers to approve issuance of bonds for campus improvements

Jan. 11, 2013 — Gov. Steve Beshear, joined by a bipartisan group of legislative leaders and state university presidents, Thursday announced a plan to approve the issuance of bonds by Kentucky’s public universities for campus improvements supported by university revenues.

These agency bonds will be issued by the individual universities over the coming months, and will allow the schools to fund critical renovation or construction projects at no cost to Kentucky taxpayers.

Gov. Beshear and the lawmakers plan to authorize $363.3 million in agency bonds, which will have an estimated economic impact of nearly $623 million and support 5,110 jobs. A bill will be filed soon to authorize the bonds.

“Agency bonds will meet the growing needs of our universities with no impact on the General Fund, as they will be paid for through existing revenue streams such as student fees and athletic revenues,” said Gov. Beshear. “I appreciate the universities’ continued good stewardship during these tough economic times. At a time when we are pushing our students to pursue higher education, it’s imperative that they have adequate classrooms, housing and facilities, and the issuance of these bonds will accelerate those projects to meet those needs quickly.”

General Fund support for the universities were cut 15 percent during the last three biennial budgets. Universities need the authority to utilize other revenues to maximize student opportunities, including needed facilities that may be built or improved without general fund revenues from the state. The bonds were proposed in the last legislative session but were not authorized. No new fees are proposed to support the bonds.

"I am pleased and thankful that the governor and legislative leaders support this initiative,” said Morehead State University President Wayne Andrews. “It will enable Morehead State University to continue to update residence halls for our students at no cost to the taxpayers of Kentucky.”

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