Archive for Wednesday, March 16, 2005

KU Med Center chief opposes House committee’s budget

March 16, 2005


— The chief of the Kansas University Medical Center said Tuesday that a budget proposal to delay a state employee pay raise and grab other higher education funds would "create significant problems."

Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee who pushed through the budget said the reductions were needed to provide enough funds for a $115.9 million increase for public schools and keep the lid on statewide taxes.

But Dr. Barbara Atkinson, executive vice chancellor of the medical center, said the committee budget approved last week would divert funds meant for health care to general government expenses.

"The cuts go beyond accounting changes and will create significant problems for sustaining top-quality medical education, research and health care in our state," Atkinson said.

She said the committee's recommendation, which will be considered by the full House this week, represented a "hidden tax" on KUMC students and a broken bond by taking $328,000 in tuition paid by students and using that money to fund other programs.

A proposal to delay a proposed 2.5 percent state employee pay raise from July 1 to March 2006 will hurt efforts to attract staff, "which compromises the state's ability to maintain its momentum in bioscience economic development," she said.

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