FRANKFORT — A proposal that would add the University of Pikeville to the state university system will get a hearing before the House Education Committee on Feb. 21, House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Tuesday.
Once all of the facts about the proposal are public, Stumbo said, he thinks there will be more support for the measure, which has received mixed reactions from officials in coal-producing counties.
Under House Bill 260, the now-private UPike would receive coal-severance-tax money from a fund normally used for economic-development projects in 12 Eastern Kentucky counties.
Several county judge-executives and magistrates have voiced concerns about taking money from the multicounty fund used for projects such as expanding water lines.
The university would deed over all of its land and buildings to the state, which would use coal-severance money to decrease tuition from about $17,000 this fall to about $7,000.
A study on the feasibility of bringing UPike into the state university system is scheduled to be completed by March 15. The House Education Committee is not expected to vote on the proposal until after that report is released.