University of Louisville not seeking special funding from legisl - WDRB 41 Louisville News

University of Louisville not seeking special funding from legislature despite action on UK research building

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University of Kentucky President Eli Capiluto asked the budget committee for the funding Tuesday University of Kentucky President Eli Capiluto asked the budget committee for the funding Tuesday
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville is not seeking state money for a new building or other capital project during the current legislative session despite the prospect of lawmakers reopening the state's two year-budget to provide $132.5 million for a research building at the University of Kentucky.

On Tuesday, the House budget committee voted for a bill to fund the medical research facility at UK, which was not funded last year when the General Assembly approved various capital projects for universities as part of the state's two-year budget.

Lawmakers won't revisit that budget until next year's session.

The prospect of UK getting the special, non-budget-year appropriation came up at the U of L Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday. 

U of L lobbyist Dana Mayton said U of L officials would be “watching it closely” because the special appropriation would naturally raise questions of fairness to other state universities.

“If you're going to open it for one, other institutions have capital needs,” she told the trustees.

U of L spokesman Mark Hebert declined to comment on the budget committee's action Tuesday beyond saying, “We are not seeking a capital project.”

The measure to fund the medical research building passed the panel over the objections of Louisville lawmakers Reps. Larry Clark, Reggie Meeks and Jim Wayne. All three said the project, however worthy, should not be funded in a non-budget session.

“I'd feel the same way if U of L was here (asking for funding),” Clark said.

“It's a process that we established for ourselves, and I think it's up to us to decide to stick to our word or not,” Meeks said.

Wayne called it “a bad precedent,” saying, “I think we can wait a year.”

Capiluto told lawmakers UK made a strategic blunder last year in trying to win half-funding for two priorities – the medical research building and a law school project – and ended up getting nothing for the medical building.

“If you ever allow me back here, I am not going to give you two choices,” he said.

Capiluto said the building will house research focused on “reduc(ing) preventable deaths” from things such as cancer, strokes and heart disease.

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