FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky General Assembly violated the state Constitution when it appropriated $10 million to a Southern Baptist-affiliated university for a pharmacy building and $2 million for a pharmacy scholarship program, a judge ruled Thursday.
The money went to the University of the Cumberlands, in Williamsburg, Ky., in 2006 at the direction of Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, earmarked the money to the university from coal severance taxwho said his part of the state needed a pharmacy school to address a shortage of pharmacists. In an 11-page order that can be appealed, retired Franklin Circuit Judge Roger Crittenden ruled that “there is no question that the appropriation of $10 million (of) tax dollars to the university to construct a pharmacy building is a direct payment to a non-public religious school for educational purpose. “This type of direct expenditure is not permitted by the Constitution of Kentucky.”
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