February 6, 2018

Cardinals visit Frankfort to lobby for student interests

By Joseph Lyell —

U of L students traveled to Frankfort Feb. 6 to lobby for the university’s interests. The trip was a product of SGA’s Cards in Action program, which aims to inform state legislators of student needs.

SGA Governmental Affairs Director Jonas Bastien said about 20 were in attendance, up from 15 students last year.

“As much as this was a lobbying trip, this was an educational experience that you [cannot] receive in the classroom for everyone involved,” Bastien said.

Bastien said the group met with Kentucky state senators and representatives from the Louisville area and pushed for more funding for higher education. Bastien said the group was particularly excited to speak with Sen. Morgan McGarvey and Sen. Julie Raque Adams, both of whom attended Fancyville, the annual SGA political forum last fall.

The group does not have a specific stance on any legislation, but they are a pro-student lobbying group.

“We will be advocating for higher-education funding, and relaying the importance of programs like the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship that provide increased opportunities for student success,” Bastien said.

He said a desired outcome of the trip would be to see Governor Matt Bevin propose smaller budget cuts or no cuts at all for higher-education institutions. In January, Bevin proposed a statewide 6.25 percent cut to post-secondary institutions.

Bastien said the effectiveness of the trip is hard to measure. The 2018 Kentucky legislative session is still in its early phases, meaning many of the bills voted on have not yet been proposed.

U of L will have a separate advocacy day in Frankfort on March 20, after the bill filing deadline. For this event, students will target specific legislation and lobby for or against individual bills.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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