NO VETO FOR BAPTIST PHARMACY DOLLARS – GOVERNOR FLETCHER CLAIMS THERE IS NO DEFINITIVE CASE LAW AGAINST STATE FUNDING OF A PRIVATE BAPTIST COLLEGE – MAKES NO MENTION OF FANNIN V. WILLIAMS CASE WHICH APPEARS AT VARIANCE WITH THE GOVERNORS LEGAL OPINION

GOVERNOR SPLITS THE BABY DOWN THE MIDDLE RATHER THAN ANGER EITHER SIDE BY VETOING  $12 MILLION PHARMACY APPROPRIATION.
     In the Governor’s address at 6 P.M. on Monday April 24th. the Governor announced $370 million dollars in veto appropriations but  declined to veto the pharmacy appropriation to the private Baptist College in Sen. Williams district.
In his speech broadcast on television the Governor stated:
“Let me address one project that has recently captured the attention of many, the grant for a pharmacy school at University of the Cumberlands.
The fact remains:  Kentucky has a shortage of pharmacists, particularly in Southeastern Kentucky.  Also, the tax dollars to build this school come from coal severance tax and not directly from the taxes you pay.
This is a difficult issue and one where there is no definitive case law establishing the legality.
I believe we need to answer once and for all in Kentucky the legality of funding private faith-based institutions for public purposes.
For that reason I will not veto this project.  However, before any money is released to the institution, I am asking the courts to determine the constitutionality of such projects.?
The full text of the Governor’s Veto speech can be read at:  http://kentucky.gov/Newsroom/governor/20060424budgetspeech.htm
While the Governor said that there was no clear case law on the issue of state funding of private school funding, we suggest that you may wish to decide the quality of the Governor’s legal advice.    
Justice Leibson wrote in Fannin v. Williams, Ky. Sup. Ct., 1983, 655 SW2d 480:

 No portion of any fund of tax now existing, or that may hereafter be raised or levied for educational purposes, shall be appropriated to, or used by, or in aid of, any church, sectarian, or denominational school.?

“In sum,  the Kentucky constitution contemplates that public funds shall be expended for public education.  The Commonwealth is obliged to furnish every child in this state an education in the public schools, but it is constitutionally proscribed from providing aid to furnish a private education. Pollit V. Lewis, 269 Ky. 680, 108 S.W.2d 671 (1937). We cannot sell the people of Kentucky a mule and call it a horse, even if we believe the public needs a mule.”

 

Comments are closed.