The4th meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue was held on Wednesday, October 18, 2006, at 6:30 PM, at the Clark County Cooperative Extension Office in Winchester, Kentucky. Representative Harry Moberly Jr, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Charlie Borders, Co-Chair; Representative Harry Moberly Jr, Co-Chair; Senators David E Boswell, Tom Buford, Denise Harper Angel, Ernie Harris, Robert J (Bob) Leeper, R J Palmer II, Elizabeth Tori, Johnny Ray Turner, and Jack Westwood; Representatives Royce W Adams, Joe Barrows, Scott W Brinkman, Dwight D Butler, Larry Clark, James R Comer Jr, Danny R Ford, W Keith Hall, Joni L Jenkins, Jimmie Lee, Lonnie Napier, Fred Nesler, Don R Pasley, Marie L Rader, Arnold Simpson, John Will Stacy, Tommy Turner, Jim Wayne, and Robin L Webb.
Guests: Representative Rocky Adkins, Representative James Gooch, Jr., Mayor Dodd Dixon, Mayor of Winchester; Judge John Myers, Clark County Judge Executive; Mike Caudill, Chair, Winchester-Clark County Chamber of Commerce; Roy Palk, President, East Kentucky Power; JoEllen Reed, Community Liaison, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Winchester-Clark County Campus; Scott Hisle, Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation; Darren Diguette, Executive Director, Clark County Handicapped Citizens; and William Blakeman, Director, Bluegrass Heritage Museum.
LRC Staff: Charlotte Quarles, John Scott, Lauren Armstrong, and Sheri Mahan.
Representative Moberly welcomed the members to Winchester-Clark County. Senator Boswell moved that the minutes from the previous meeting be approved as written. Second by Representative Pasley. The motion carried by voice vote.
Representative Don Pasley and Senator R. J. Palmer welcomed the members to Winchester-Clark County. The following officials and citizens addressed the committee to welcome them to the area and to discuss various incentives and projects that have been beneficial to Winchester-Clark County:
· Mayor Dodd Dixon, Mayor of Winchester
· Judge John Myers, Clark County Judge Executive
· Mike Caudill, Chair, Winchester-Clark County Chamber of Commerce
· Roy Palk, President, East Kentucky Power Cooperative
· JoEllen Reed, Community Liaison, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Winchester-Clark County Campus
· Scott Hisle, Board member, Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation
· Darren Diguette, Executive Director, Clark County Handicapped Citizens
· William Blakeman, Director, Bluegrass Heritage Museum
· Todd Denham, Executive Director, Clark County Industrial Authority
Representative Pasley and Senator Palmer presented a citation to a representative of Ale8-1 for being a long time corporate citizen of Winchester-Clark County.
Representative Moberly discussed the importance of community development and infrastructure projects and their continued funding by the General Assembly. He complemented Senator Palmer and Representative Pasley for their diligent work representing their districts in Frankfort. He also recognized House Majority Floor Leader Representative Rocky Adkins.
Next, President Lee Todd of the University of Kentucky (UK) updated the committee regarding the university's Top 20 Business Plan. President Todd discussed the importance of the university achieving Top 20 status. He said that states with Top 20 universities have higher median income, higher educational attainment, lower poverty rates, and fewer citizens on Medicaid. He thanked the members for the support shown the university in the budget during the last Regular Session. He discussed the increased participation of the various colleges within the university in planning, compiling and submitting business plans to the President's office. He also highlighted the increased national publicity the university is receiving for their innovative budgeting business plan.
President Todd briefly discussed the increases and improvements made by the university over the past 10 years. He stated that total enrollment is up 10% and graduation rates have increased by 24%. Research awards granted to the university are up by 135%. Endowments have increased by $450 million, a 231% increase, which has led to a 372% increase in endowed chairs and 404% increase in endowed professorships. This past fall university admitted the largest and most diverse class in history. There are 54 new faculty this year and 30 new faculty in the College of Medicine. The university has made $4.2 million in classroom and laboratory improvements and is conducting $290 million in new research. The university currently staffs 140 UK HealthCare outreach clinics and 24 Commonwealth Collaboratives throughout the state.
He then compared the current statistics with where the university needed to be to achieve Top 20 status. He stated that the university needs 6200 additional undergraduate students, 750 additional graduate students and 375 more postdoctoral appointments. The university needs to increase faculty by 625, increase bachelor's degrees granted by 3,065, and increase doctorial awards by 189. Research expenditures need to increase by $470 million yearly.
President Todd discussed the university's budget over the next biennium. The General Assembly provided the university with $4.6 million in FY 2006 - 07, and $20.9 million in FY 2007-08. The budget also provided $80 million in state bonds for a biological/pharmaceutical complex, and $150 million in agency bonds for the University of Kentucky hospital. He then briefly discussed various UK research and activities across the state. President Todd stated that he believes the Top 20 goal is very achievable with continued support from the General Assembly.
Representative Moberly and Senator Borders complemented President Todd for the great strides the university has made under his guidance.
Representative Pasley discussed the importance of improvements being made to the UK Diagnostic Laboratory.
Representative Adkins asked if the university is focusing on any particular area of research. President Todd stated that energy research, including clean coal and liquid coal research, is a primary focus of the university. Also the university is doing research in diversifying agricultural products, and pharmaceutical development.
Representative Moberly introduced Commissioner Gene Wilhoit, Department of Education, and thanked him for his years of service to the Commonwealth. Representative Moberly and Senator Border presented a resolution from the committee honoring the commissioner. Senator Borders read the resolution. Representative Ford moved for the adoption of the resolution. Second by Representative Webb. The committee adopted the resolution by voice vote.
Commissioner Gene Wilhoit, Department of Education, then discussed the implementation of HB 380 education technology initiatives. He discussed the history of and progress being made on the Kentucky Education Network, which is a high speed, high density network which will link the Department of Education and school districts across the state. Higher education and adult education centers will also be linked with K-12 local school districts. He discussed the importance of the budget funding given to the Department by the General Assembly in the current budget. The contract has been signed and implementation is ready to go. The system is expected to be completed by 2008.
Commissioner Wilhoit also discussed upgrading computer systems within Kentucky's schools. He stated that the FY 2006-2008 budget funded an initiative to replace all computers in the state school system at a 6 to 1 ratio for students and a 1 to 1 ratio for teachers. Upon completion, Kentucky will have the most modern work stations in the United States. He discussed how this will be accomplished.
Finally, Commissioner Wilhoit discussed the student information system, to better improve the collection of data across the state. This will allow the department to standardize reporting across the state, and retrieve information around data sets to better analyze questions and school performance at the state level. This upgrade will greatly improve the department's ability to monitor individual students, teacher, and school district performance.
Commissioner Wilhoit stated that all initiatives are on target for development and within budget guidelines. He stated that Kentucky has also received a substantial federal grant to update the school data system to align with federal requirements.
Senator Boswell commended Commissioner Wilhoit on his years of service to Kentucky's students.
Representative Barrows asked Commissioner Wilhoit to inform the committee of his new position. Commissioner Wilhoit stated he will be working for an organization in Washington D.C. which represents all the states and territories in education policy making.
Representative Moberly commended the members' work during the past legislative session regarding the budget. He thanked those from Winchester-Clark County for hosting the committee meeting.
Representative Pasley thanked the committee staff for their work in organizing the meeting. He also thanked the cooperative extension staff for providing the meeting space.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.