Archive for Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Legislation proposes making mandatory regent school contributions

February 19, 2002


— Officials with the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in Abilene said Monday the facility will go out of business unless lawmakers approve a bill imposing a $1 surcharge on tickets to designated athletic events at regents schools, including Kansas University.

The measure by House Majority Leader Shari Weber, a Herington Republican, is scheduled for a public hearing Wednesday before the House Tourism Committee.

"The proposed legislation in the Kansas House is critical for the Hall of Fame to survive," said Duane Muck of Osborne, chairman of the Sports Hall of Fame.

He said that without a permanent funding source, the hall's 41-year history will end within two weeks.

Janet Murguia, executive vice chancellor of university relations at KU, said the university had concerns about the bill.

The measure would impose a $1 surcharge at all regents schools on one football game, one men's basketball game and one women's varsity game per season. That would raise $130,000 to $200,000 per year, which would go to the Hall of Fame.

But KU has imposed the surcharge voluntarily and contributed more than $415,000 to the Hall of Fame since 1987, according to KU officials.

Murguia said KU did not want to have the voluntary nature of the contribution made into a requirement.

"We are very supportive of the Sports Hall of Fame and have been its biggest contributor," she said.

Some regents schools, though, have refused to impose the surcharge on athletic events.

Weber said the Hall of Fame has managed to operate through state funding and private contributions. But because of the state's budget problems, no state funds are expected this legislative session, she said.

The bill is House Bill 2896. A public hearing on it will be conducted at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Capitol, Room 243-North.

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