Another Democratic state senator is calling on Governor Ernie Fletcher to veto $10- million dollars earmarked for a pharmacy school at the University of the Cumberlands.
Senator Daniel Mongiardo, from Hazard, says the building isn’t needed because there is already a rural pharmacy program in the works in Hazard. Mongiardo, who is also a medical doctor, says money for health care must be used wisely.
He says the University of Kentucky Center for Rural Health, which is located in Hazard, was built to meet the needs of the area and help recruit pharmacists to work in rural areas.
The funding for the Cumberlands pharmacy school has been criticized after the Baptist school expelled a student who announced he was gay on a personal Web site…
Although I was sympathetic to the gay student expelled from the University of the Cumberlands, the fact remains that it is a private institution “affliated with the Southern Baptist Church” and is entitled to its beliefs under the First Amendment. I strongly disagree with the University on this but such is their right. Having said that, the University is not entitled to also receiving state funds. State Senator Mongiardo is right and I hope others will assist him in stripping this University of taxpayer-dollars. Kentucky’s own state constitution provides the grounds for doing so regardless of the University’s position on homosexuality:
No portion of any fund or tax now existing, or that may hereafter be raised or levied for educational purposes, shall be appropriated to, or used by, or in aid of, any church, sectarian or denominational school. [Section 189]
How ironic though that the Blaine Amendment adopted to the Kentucky Constitution, and indeed most state constitutions, during the height of anti-Catholic hysteria in the late 19th-century could now come back to bite them in the ass.