Topeka Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Monday vetoed a budget proviso that would have required approval by Kansas University Hospital before a proposed affiliation could be established between KU Medical Center and St. Luke's hospital.
"While I understand the concerns of the proponents of the restrictions contained in this proviso, there is already a more than sufficient level of oversight provided by current law," Sebelius said in her veto message.
"Any affiliation would have to be approved by the Board of Regents, for example, and I do not believe we should return to the past pattern of micromanagement that is proposed in this proviso," she said.
The proviso was put in the budget by lawmakers who said they feared the proposed agreement between KUMC and Kansas City, Mo.-based St. Luke's would have a negative impact on KU Hospital, which competes with St. Luke's.
But KUMC officials said the proposed affiliation was needed to improve medical research and help KU win designation as a national cancer center.
Sebelius' rejection of the proviso was the only line-item veto she made in the $12.3 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.
Lawmakers return Wednesday for a wrap-up session and could decide to try to override Sebelius' veto.