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Governor Beshear wants to increase state aid for Rupp renovation to $80 million


When Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers dropped the $65 million in state funding for the Rupp Arena project from the budget a few weeks ago, the future of the project looked bleak. However, Governor Steve Beshear has repeatedly voiced his support for the project, and in a news conference today, announced a new plan that will increase state funding to $80 million, but not require an increase in Fayette County’s hotel and motel tax, a sticking point for Stivers and the Senate. Lexington city leaders now say they’ll use “value engineering” to decrease the total price of the project, whatever that means.

Governor Beshear also told reporters that he’d be meeting with Senator Stivers and other legislative leaders to discuss the new financing plan this afternoon, a HUGE meeting for the future of a renovated Rupp. Cross your fingers.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

24 Comments for Governor Beshear wants to increase state aid for Rupp renovation to $80 million

  1. danpetersmit
    5:18 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    “Value engineering” sounds safe.

    • Dee W.
      10:10 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

      For anyone interested, here is a detailed synopsis of what is currently being discussed:

      And there was, as suspected, a bit more going on behind the scenes on this that previously met the eye (UK asking for other money besides Rupp Arena).

      There was never any real doubt this was going to be passed eventually. All of this piling on Stivers was never called for, nor the conspiracy theory put forth by some that Mitch McConnell (who is not a member of the State legislature) was secretly working behind the scenes to block the project, for reasons which were never explained (nor could they as such a move would make absolutely no sense). The argument that the only thing involved was being “for Rupp Arena or against Rupp Arena” was nonseniscal – there’s a lot more to coming up with a big spending proposal and project like this and its logistics than just taking a position on whether or not you want the renovation to take place. I don’t think Beshear’s comparing this to the YUM! Center project has been particularly helpful given the way that scheme has worked out financially.

    5:18 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    value engineering = having to pay the train operator less

  3. Rei
    5:19 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Stivers is a huge turd.

  4. Engineer
    5:24 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Value Engineering = Using less expensive materials.

  5. sammydo
    5:32 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Don’t understand the objection to a hotel/motel tax as most of it is paid by travelers. Our tax is low compared to what I pay in Lville, Cincy, NYC, Florida etc. for accomodations. Seems like a no brainer to me.

    • DCS195
      8:19 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

      It’s always better for us to pay our own taxes than have someone else do it, just like it is better for someone else, far, far away to own our water company than it is for us to own it.

  6. Mike
    5:38 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Anybody heard any news or possible news about the rest of the team if they are going pro or coming back?

  7. Craig
    5:46 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Value Engineering is a facade. Stivers needs to grow a pair and just do what the whole state wants, not what he wants. Stupid people.

  8. Greg
    5:52 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    The budget has already been passed and signed into law, according to an email Beshear sent state employees last week.

    So, since the budget is now finished, how will this get addressed? As of 5:50pm, one day before Session ends, the only remaining budgets are Transportation and the Road Plan, neither of which will address Rupp funding.

    This sounds more like Beshear is just blowing smoke up BBN’s ass. I’m not usually against Beshear, but I believe in calling it like I see it, and I just don’t see how this happens. Maybe I’m just ignorant of how they can amend the budget.

    • Greg
      5:53 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

      Or, maybe Beshear was just blowing smoke up state employees asses about how he got them a raise and the budget really isn’t finalized. Either way, he’s fibbing to someone.

  9. JBCat
    5:54 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Stivers needs to have his sorry a$$ booted!
    Politicians like this guy should be full of respect and fear when it comes to doing what their constituency wants. That’s why they were elected in the first place! Not to play games or make themselves the star of the show…

    • Dee W.
      9:53 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

      The constituency wanting something and coming up with a viable and workable plan are two different things.

      Also, Stivers cannot unilaterally just remove something from a bill and there is much more to “wanting Rupp Arena renovated vs. not wanting Rupp Arena renovated” went it comes to putting together as large of a spending bill as this.

  10. Bradley
    5:56 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    So which hotel(s) do Stivers or one of his buddies have a stake in?

  11. Reality
    6:00 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    It will never pass.

  12. Chaz
    6:28 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    I don’t understand. There was a ligit 65 million on the table and that got pushed back till a “later date”? Now 80 Million appears thanks to some double talk about “value engineering”? Taxpayers, grasp your knees and lean forward.

  13. Tennessee Wildcat
    6:34 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    THANK YOU, Governor Beshear! Even Johnny Short would call him “A fine American”. I’m sure that the Rupp addition will be tacked on to the transportation and/or road bill to end the years legislative process. Folks, I don’t care which side of the aisle you like, this is the right thing to do and likely is supported by 99.9% of Kentucky. The state will get the funding out of this renovation, you can guarantee it and it will be a great investment into the future of Rupp and UK basketball. We are the marquee flagship of college basketball!

  14. Dick
    6:50 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Why should tax payer pay for this dump

    • Idiot
      7:19 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

      yeah man why should we even pay taxes it’s my money i worked hard for it

  15. Pretty sure
    7:26 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Neither of you have jobs.

  16. Shawn
    7:52 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Stivers will block this again. We are going to have to get him out of office ASAP. BTW. Value engineering = cutting corners, cheaper products, less impressive design and finishes. Basically Its being cheap. Do we really want a budget built arena? Seriously a 2% hotel tax Is not that much at all. Its peanuts compared to what your already paying for a hotel.

  17. Catlogic15
    9:07 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Re:Room tax. Really, if you give people a reason to come to downtown for conventions or whatever, they will stay in the hotel of their choosing. I’ve traveled the country for over 30 years and not one time ever did I question or research the “room tax” on the hotel in which I’d be staying. Ludicrous. Something else amiss here.

  18. Jerry Claiborne
    9:21 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    no taxpayer money should be paid out until the state pays its part of teacher retirement. The teachers pay their 3%, districts pay their 3%, now its time for the state to fund its part.

  19. just saying
    10:10 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    so if we are using “value engineering” to lower the cost of the project, why would we need MORE money from the state?