We’re extremely disappointed that the Kentucky House of Representatives pushed by its leadership passed House Bill 99 today which bonds a $35 million loan to the University of Louisville to bailout ailing Jewish Hospital and further adds to taxpayers’ already-heavy debt burden.
Taxpayers should be outraged that U of L lobbied heavily for this project even though the university is flush with hundreds of millions of dollars in cash and is more than capable of making this acquisition with one red cent from Frankfort’s coffers.
The initial proposal to directly expend $50 million – later $35 million – from the state’s General Fund was bad enough. The initial proposal to directly expend $50 million – later $35 million – from the state’s General Fund was bad enough. By issuing bonds to pay for this the state has once again added to the total price tag of this project with a loan that will require 20 years to repay with half of it being forgivable, leaving taxpayers on the hook for $17.5 million plus interest on the future payments.
Taxpayers should also be further incensed that the legislation doesn’t even guarantee that this multi-million-dollar urban hospital won’t seek more dollars in the future from taxpayers for this failed project. This is especially unacceptable during a time when our commonwealth cannot even cover soaring pension costs and rural hospitals struggle to keep their doors open.
We commend the representatives who did not vote for this project and strongly urge the Kentucky Senate to invite U of L to either pay for this project out of their already-flush-with-cash funds or borrow the money from the private sector and let potential students and their families decide if they want to pay the increased tuition costs caused by this wasteful and unfair project.
Contact Jim Waters @ firstname.lastname@example.org or (270) 320-4376 for comment or more information.