When I saw the synopsis of Senate Bill 70, filed by Sen. Chris McDaniel, who happens to be chair of the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee, I thought maybe Ralph Merkel at the University of Louisville was getting a really nice facility.
After all, McDaniel’s bill calls for $8 million in the current budget be spent for a television broadcast/production studio facility. And I know Ralph, who is The Cardinal student newspaper adviser, also teaches at least one television class. And there is an extreme urgency attached to the legislation.
Senate Bill 70 reads:
Section 1. There is hereby authorized and appropriated $8,000,000 in Other Funds in fiscal year 2017-2018 for the construction of a television broadcast/production studio and the construction or renovation of associated network infrastructure at the University of Louisville pursuant to KRS 45.763.
Section 2. Whereas it is imperative that the commencement of this capital project begins in fiscal year 2017-2018, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act takes effect upon its passage and approval by the Governor or upon its otherwise becoming law.
I asked Ralph if this television broadcast/production studio was a product that would benefit his class. Eventually, maybe they will get to use it, some, but its purpose is to benefit the Atlantic Coast Conference/ACC and the UL athletics department. Actually, UL was on notice that it was not in compliance with the contract with the ACC because it had not yet built the TV studio. SB 70 was unanimously approved by the Senate Thursday afternoon in a 34-0 vote and now moves on to the House. The emergency clause means it becomes law as soon as the governor signs it. And that was needed because the ACC has worked out a package purchase of TV equipment for all ACC schools and Louisville would only be able to have the studio constructed and take advantage of the discount on the equipment with immediate action.
Keep your fingers crossed Ralph. With an $8 million production studio, I would think your students could really benefit from using it for classroom instruction.