March 28, 2007
Contact: Martin Cothran
U of L President visits lawmakers, comes clean on misleading testimony on domestic partner benefits bill
U of L President James Ramsey came clean yesterday on misleading testimony he gave to legislative committees. His inaccurate testimony formed the basis for much of the opposition to legislation restricting domestic partner benefit programs at state universities. Ramsey visited several lawmakers on the last day of the legislative session, according to a WHAS-11 news report, and admitted that his testimony was mistaken.
Ramsey had told a legislative committee—and his own Board of Trustees—that the University was not subsidizing the health benefits for domestic partners of its staff in whole or in part. Last week, however, in a press release The Family Foundation pointed to U of L’s own website, which states that the university does subsidize the benefits for domestic partners of its staff.
Ramsey’s statements, and subsequent statements by opponents of the bill were used repeatedly in arguments against SB 152, which would have prohibited state agencies, including colleges and universities, from such subsidies. SB 152, which was passed by the Senate, failed to gain a majority in the House Health & Welfare Committee in an 8-8 tie vote.
“We are pleased that Ramsey has admitted his testimony was false,” said Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst with The Family Foundation of Kentucky, “but we wonder why he waited until the waning hours of the very last day of the General Assembly session, when it was too late for the bill to be reconsidered, to make it clear that the basis for much of the opposition was mistaken.”
Cothran called for more questions to be asked about the timing of the admission. “Someone needs to ask what they knew and when they knew it. It appears as if U of L staff has known about his for some time, and the question is whether this was intentional deception or just bureaucratic incompetence. We’re not saying Ramsey lied; it could be that he doesn’t have good communication with his staff. Maybe the left hand at U of L doesn’t know what the far left hand is doing.”
The Family Foundation was one of the groups that opposed state universities subsidizing the live-in sexual partners of their staff and faculty with tax and tuition money.