Kentucky University Presidents Meet with Governor Again

Apr 8, 2016

EKU President Michael Benson at a campus event Thursday
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

    Kentucky’s public university presidents remain in dialogue with Governor Bevin on funding matters.  College heads met at the governor’s mansion Wednesday evening to discuss the current budget impasse. 

Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson says higher education funding was a bargaining chip when he presided over a college in Utah and so it remains in Kentucky.  “So happens this year that it’s a really big chip,” Benson said. “And it’s one that’s kind of, the analogy we use is kind of the ping pong ball getting knocked back and forth.”

House and Senate leaders remain in talks in Frankfort, trying to break through with a compromise budget plan. The main roadblock between the two chambers is the proposed funding cuts to higher education. Benson says the governor is talking tax reform to focus on next year.  “The governor has talked a lot about expanding our tax base,” he said.  “And I would argue the best way to do that is to invest in opportunities for education.”

Lawmakers are scheduled to go back into session for the last day next Tuesday. ​