Topeka Kansas University Medical Center would lose all its state funding -- $116 million -- if it signs an affiliation agreement with St. Luke's Hospital that fails to satisfy a majority of the KU Hospital board.
That's according to a budget proviso approved Friday by the House Appropriations Committee for the proposed spending plan that starts July 1.
KU Medical Center's School of Medicine is seeking a research and education affiliation with Kansas City, Mo.-based St. Luke's. But KU Hospital, the primary hospital of the School of Medicine, has said the affiliation would hurt it because it competes with St. Luke's.
State Rep. Lee Tafanelli, R-Ozawkie, and vice chair of the appropriations, proposed the proviso.
"I just want to make sure that everyone that is a primary stakeholder in that, has an opportunity to weigh in on that issue," Tafanelli said.
State Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, a member of the committee, opposed the measure. Later she said, "I don't like to hold agencies hostage."
Ballard said KU School of Medicine is aware of concern about the affiliation expressed by the Legislature and will address those concerns without the need of a budget proviso.
Tafanelli's measure was approved on an 11-10 vote with Committee Chair Sharon Schwartz, R-Washington, voting in favor of it to break a tie.
She said several legislators had told her of concerns from constituents about the proposed affiliation.
The appropriations bill goes to the full House next week for consideration.
The proviso states that the KU Medical Center would get no state funding if it affiliates with St. Luke's unless it also gets majority support from the KU Hospital board, the Kansas Board of Regents, and the Wichita Center for Graduate Medical Education Board.