Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear on March 9 signed House Bill 298 that provides debt service to fund half of a $256 million medical research facility at the University of Kentucky.

BRADENTON, Fla. – Kentucky will provide half of the financing needed to build a state-of-the-art medical research facility that will target diseases that disproportionately affect residents of the Commonwealth.

Gov. Steve Beshear signed a bill on March 9 that authorizes the first payment of debt service from the state’s general fund on $132.5 million in bonds that will be issued for the construction of the $265 million facility at the University of Kentucky.

The university, the state’s flagship institution, will match the other half of the funding through the research awards and private fund-raising, according to president Eli Capilouto.

House Bill 298 will help fund a building that will house scientists from different disciplines working together to reduce deaths from medical disorders such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

HB 298 required that lawmakers open the current year’s budget to provide for debt service. The measure passed the House 83-9 in mid-February. It passed the Senate 36-1 on March 3.

“The life expectancy of our citizens is lower than that of other citizens in other states,” said Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, R-Lexington. “We know that is unacceptable [and] we have to do something.”

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