Politics

The state Senate on Tuesday passed a bill authorizing $132.5 million in bonding for a cancer research center at the University of Kentucky.

UK will raise an additional $132.5 million to fund the $265 million project.

This is the second piece of legislation passed by both chambers of the state legislature this session.

The bill also makes an appropriation of $5.4 million to service debt incurred by the bond over the next year. Budgetary appropriations are normally reserved for legislative sessions in even-numbered years.

Bill sponsor Rep. Alice Forgy Kerr, a Republican from Lexington, said the cancer research center will help create a healthier Kentucky.

“The life expectancy of our states is lower than that of citizens in other states and we know that that is unacceptable and we have to do something about that,” Kerr said.

Gov. Steve Beshear has indicated he will sign the bill into law.

Notably, the state Senate made moves on another, more controversial bond bill on Tuesday. The House’s $3.3 billion bond proposal to shore up the ailing Teacher’s Retirement System was given a first reading in the Senate—opening up the possibility that it would be heard in committee.

Senate President Robert Stivers, a Manchester Republican, said the Senate would seek for a more holistic solution to fixing the system an doing “something different than what is proposed by the speaker.” He did not provide details.

The headline on this story was updated to reflect the correct amount the legislation approves.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives.