Friday, February 15, 2013

Brownback stands by $10 million commitment to KU Medical Center

By SCOTT ROTHSCHILD, The Lawrence Journal-World

Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday defended his proposal to commit the state to jump-starting construction of a health education building at Kansas University Medical Center, and indicated he wasn't worried that a Senate subcommittee had cut the funding.

"I think it's important," Brownback said. "It's expanding the number of medical doctors in the state," he said.

Earlier this week, a Senate budget subcommittee recommended cutting the $10 million that Brownback had proposed go toward construction of the $75 million health education and training facility, which has been a major priority for KU.

Sen. Tom Arpke, R-Salina, and chair of the subcommittee, recommended the cut, saying he was concerned about declining enrollment and expenses at KU.

The subcommittee recommendation will be considered Monday by the full Senate Ways and Means Committee.

"We need a new facility," Brownback said. KU says the current building to train physicians-to-be is outdated.

Brownback said he wasn't worried about the subcommittee's action. "There are all sorts of discussions that go on, and this is still early in the process," he said.