University of Louisville Receives OK from House for Jewish Hospital loan

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FRANKFORT – The State House passed bill on Wednesday granting the University of Louisville a $ 35 million loan in aid the recent takeover of the Jewish Hospital and other Louisville-based KentuckyOne Health facilities.

House Bill 99 was passed by 86 votes to 7 after changing it several times from its original version and changing the origins of the loan funds.

“We are pleased that the House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly in support of the loan, which is vital to our efforts to provide high quality health care to Louisville and the Commonwealth,” said John Karman, spokesman for U of L , in an email. “We look forward to following this bill through the rest of the legislative process in the coming weeks.”

Former Governor Matt Bevin’s government initially required the state to provide one $ 50 million partially excusable loan to aid the university’s acquisitions last year, subject to approval by the Kentucky General Assembly at its 2020 session.

President of the University of Louisville, Neeli Bendapudi cut that request to $ 35 million last month citing unexpected cost savings and increased revenue.

Previously: U of L lowers loan application to acquire Jewish Hospital to $ 35 million

Last month, the first version of HB 99, approved by the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, gave $ 35 million in excess money from the state’s General Fund to U of L.

After that vote, Governor Andy Beshear presented a two-year draft budget that would give U of L a $ 35 million loan but instead provide it in the form of a bond.

The bill was sent back to committee and amended to make the U of L loan a bond, while at the same time making up to half of that loan forgivable based on the medical center’s performance in terms of employment and treatment for underserved communities . It also included a $ 3 million commitment in each of the next two fiscal years to service the debt on the bond.

This latest version of HB 99 was approved by the committee on Tuesday and the plenary chamber on Wednesday. Now it goes to the Senate.

House spokesman David Osborne, R-Prospect, supported the bill, saying the loan approval was necessary to offset the economic impact of the Jewish Hospital’s closure and the impact it would have on the accreditation of the U of medical school L might have to prevent.

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State Rep. Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, tabled two amendments to change the terms and size of the loan to the university, but was not recognized for discussion and vote. One change would have made the loan unforgivable, while the second would have cut its amount in half to $ 17.5 million and directed the other $ 17.5 million towards loans to rural hospitals.

The passage of the House of HB 99 was criticized by Andrew McNeil, the state director of Americans For Prosperity-Kentucky.

“The University of Louisville asked the house to put $ 35 million on their state credit card to give them a loan they don’t want to pay back. And the house stuck to it, ”McNeil said in a statement. “There is no explanation that they were unable to secure private funding for this deal. Instead, U of L urges low-income and middle-class families to pay the bill. “

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Reach reporter Joe Sonka at [email protected] or 502-582-4472 and follow him on Twitter at @joesonka. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: kurierjournal.com/subscribe.


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