State Funding for Rupp Coming Down to the Wire

Apr 15, 2014

As the hours pass on the 60th and final day of the 2014 General Assembly, it looks more unlikely Kentucky legislators will reach agreement on state funding for the Rupp Arena project.  The governor initially suggested borrowing 65 million dollars to go toward construction of the new Rupp facility.  The senate opted to delete that funding.  If not passed, House Speaker Greg Stumbo doesn't believe it's an issue which deserves special session attention.  

"I would not believe that that project in and of itself, barring something that we don't know, would necessitate a special session.  We've put some money in the budget to allow them to continue the design work and moving forward on the project," said Stumbo.

Governor Beshear indicated Monday a revised financing plan for Rupp did not call for a local hotel motel tax increase in Lexington.  He said the latest proposal did increase state borrowing from 65 to 80 million dollars for the downtown project.  Lexington Representative Kelly Flood says the Rupp upgrade may not be approved.  

"I wouldn't say I'm concerned," said Flood. "I feel that everything has been done that can be done, given the city's inability at this point to spell out the whole plan to everybody because of their own budget cycle."

Neither Governor Beshear nor House Speaker Greg Stumbo have indicated that a special session on funding the Rupp project would be appropriate.