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The Student News Site of University of Kentucky

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President Capilouto responds to state budget proposal


University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto weighed in on the Kentucky House of Representatives’ proposed state budget in a campus-wide email today.

Capilouto said he was appreciative that lawmakers are supporting UK’s initiatives through the proposed funding. 

“In all, these proposals represent a continuation of investment in, and support of, the critical work we are doing to advance this state in everything that we do,” Capilouto said in the email. 

The 251-page state operating budget unveiled by Republicans as House Bill 6 on Jan. 16 provides $124.8 billion in funding for government operations over the next two years, according to the bill

The bill includes over $35 million in funding for UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Cooperative Extension Service. Further funding for the UK HealthCare system, campus renovations and new academic buildings are also included in the bill. 

“We are deeply appreciative of that support and emboldened by the push by policymakers for us to do and be more for our state as we collectively work to build a commonwealth that is healthier, wealthier and wiser,” Capilouto said in the email. 

Capilouto also noted other legislation that “challenges” the work done on campus. 

Included in Capilouto’s statement are mentions of proposals that would prohibit postsecondary institutions from implementing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, require the implementation of Artificial Intelligence policies in all academic institutions and change regulations regarding gun safety on campus. 

“In the coming weeks and months, our government relations team and I will be directly engaging with legislators about both the opportunities and the challenges,” the email said. “My approach on all these issues is to engage earnestly and respectfully, asking what the concerns are with how we do our work, while proudly telling our story as a university.”

Though Capilouto said the legislative session is a “long process” with many changes, he encouraged the UK campus community to navigate these challenges together.  

“We have a powerful story to present, of a community that for nearly 160 years has made as its mission and purpose how we make tomorrow in Kentucky better than today,” Capilouto said. 

The budget proposal will be discussed by members of the House before heading to the Senate for further review, according to Capilouto.

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