Appalachia Scholarship Proposal at Risk

Mar 26, 2012

A plan to create scholarships for college students in the Appalachian region is in danger after the Senate removed the funding in its budget proposal.  The scholarship program was intended as a compromise after a bill to move the University of Pikeville into the state university system couldn’t garner enough support.  It would give college juniors and seniors money to attend private universities or public university partnerships in the Appalachian region to finish their education.  The House’s version of the budget funded the scholarships with coal severance tax money, but the Senate removed that language.  House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he thinks the Senate will use the funding as a bargaining chip during conference committee.  Senate President David Williams says the issue can come up in that committee and that he personally supports the idea. But he says many in his Republican caucus did not favor the proposal.