Archive for Monday, April 29, 2013

Brownback proposes using bioscience funds to pay for adult stem cell center at KU

April 29, 2013


— Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday proposed using bioscience dollars to fund the startup and ongoing costs of the planned adult stem cell center at the Kansas University Medical Center.

Under Brownback's plan, $1.154 million would be diverted from the Kansas Bioscience Authority next year to create the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center and $754,500 per year to maintain the center after that.

The proposal was part of numerous spending adjustments Brownback has sent to the Legislature, which reconvenes May 8 to put together a budget during the wrapup session.

Last week, Brownback signed into law a measure establishing the adult stem cell center. KU did not ask for the bill, and legislators had failed to fund it.

The center is prohibited from using embryonic stem cells or cells taken from aborted fetal tissue. Abortion opponents, who supported the legislation, oppose human embryonic stem cell research because it involves the destruction of the embryo.

Brownback said the center will put Kansas at the forefront of important research.

Under Brownback's plan, the center's funding would be deducted from the income tax revenue directed to the Kansas Bioscience Authority, which was established to grow the bioscience sector in the Kansas economy. KBA funding has been capped at $35 million annually in recent years.

In his message to legislators, Brownback also renewed his call to provide $10 million to help construct KU Medical Center's proposed health education building to train more doctors and nurses and to reject cuts to higher education.

The House has proposed an across-the-board cut to higher education of 4 percent, or $29.2 million, while the Senate recommended a 2 percent cut. The House plan also contains a cap on salaries that KU officials say would hurt the university’s ability to retain and recruit top-level faculty.

Much of Brownback's budget recommendation will depend on whether his fellow Republicans approve his plan to keep the state sales tax at 6.3 percent. Under current law, the sales tax is scheduled to fall to 5.7 percent on July 1.

"I look forward to working with the Legislature to craft tax and budget plans that support a balanced budget that funds our state's core responsibilities, provides the state a strong ending balance and continues our state on the glide path to a zero state income tax," Brownback said.

In his budget plan, Brownback also recommends borrowing $202 million in additional funds to secure the federal National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, to be built in Manahattan, and provide $16 million in state funds over two years to reduce waitings lists for services for those with disabilities.


Bob_Keeshan 5 years ago

Hey, remember in 2011 when Brownback and his allies went after the KBA board members? Remember how they said they weren't trying to take over the KBA and get rid of its independence?

Yeah, neither do Brownback and his allies.

WilburM 5 years ago

Totally political move. This is shameless. Let the Bioscence Authority do its job-creating task. Maybe not perfect, but this kind of intrusion completely compromises its mission. And takes funds away from potentially deserving projects.

verity 5 years ago

I want to say what I think about this, but I would be banned. But I'm still thinking it.

Mike1949 5 years ago

verity; when it comes to browback, a very large proportion of the population is silent. Maybe that is the problem, Kansans should start demanding that brownback be removed, sequestered, or what ever they do to people that have no business holding dog catcher let alone Governor. That man is totally inept! Why is he still in office?

verity 5 years ago

Why indeed? Early in his term, after it became apparent that Brownback was even worse than I expected, I thought that I would look into how to get rid of him. I thought that was something I could start and work on. So I began to research and found that our legislature has changed the laws so that it is nearly impossible to recall a state officer. You have to get the signatures of forty percent of the number of people who voted in the last election within a ninety day time period. Then, if you could do this, it would be for naught as the governor gets to appoint the replacement and it has to be from the same party as the person recalled. So it seems Brownback would be appointing his replacement. Whether or not he could appoint himself wasn't clear.

So---it seems we have to wait until the next election. And, if somebody of substance doesn't run against him, he will be reelected. I've been contacting the Kansas Democratic Party about this issue. You can easily go online and email them or get their phone number and call. If you really care about this, please do so. It doesn't take that much time.

I must admit that people here and elsewhere calling for his removal annoy me because they all expect somebody else to take the initiative and do something. Can't even be bothered to google the process.

Mike1949 5 years ago

Thank you, I'm not as computer literate as I would like to be.

question4u 5 years ago

Government-controlled science made the Soviets irrelevant to major advances in twentieth-century genetics that made stem-cell therapies possible in the first place.

The idea that putting mandates on science that have nothing to do with the actual state of science and everything to do with politics and religion will "put Kansas at the forefront of important research" is ludicrous. It is consistent with the Brownback philosophy that experts should not be consulted on any important decisions. Put a "meat guy" in charge of IT; keep educators off the educational task force; force doctors to quote questionable studies to patients; compel KU to create a program that it did not consider worth pursuing: these sound like the decisions of someone who is either inept or omniscient.

So, which is it? Is Brownback incompetent or is he God?

Orwell 5 years ago

Good point about Brownback following the Soviet model of "politically acceptable science." This is right up there with digging up the rotting corpse of Arthur Laffer to support a predetermined tax policy dictated by billionaire contributors.

smileydog 5 years ago

Embryonic stem cells do not work but adult ones do. I'd rather my money be spent on a winner.

Orwell 5 years ago

This claim is based on selective, anecdotal and dogmatically biased "research," but thanks for playing. Be sure to come back when you find an article asserting the climatological benefits of deforestation.

globehead 5 years ago

Smileydog: And, the Earth is flat All one has to do is look at it.

Larry Sturm 5 years ago

Another rob Peter to Pay Paul Solution.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

You beat me to it. That's exactly what he was doing with the Turnpike Authority. He is trying to cover up the fact that he just cut revenues to the state, so he can get reelected. This whole Alec experiment is going to turn Kansas into the worse state in the country, even below Mississippi

texburgh 5 years ago

Since the legislators who passed this idiotic piece of legislation chose not to fund it, then don't fund it at all. The Kansas legislature and governor are embarrassments to the great idea of American democracy - an idea that has apparently atrophied here in Kansas.

Paul R Getto 5 years ago

Send on the clowns. Better: Quit electing them to high office.

Steve Bunch 5 years ago

No matter what you think of him, Brownback is not inept. He has an agenda and he has been very calculating in advancing it.

Larry Sturm 5 years ago

As I said before it will take 50 years to undo what Brownback has done to Kansas in 3 years.

TalkSense 5 years ago

When it was created in 2004, the Kansas Bioscience Authority was regarded as an innovative funding model for other states to copy. Its goal was to build the bioscience industry in Kansas - broadly defined - through strategic investments in university research, technology commercialization, research infrastructure, and promising private companies. KU has been a major beneficiary of KBA investments, at Lawrence and the Medical Center. Examples include a West Campus research building, the Bioscience & Technology Business Center main facility, and the NCI Cancer Center designation campaign. In less than a decade, that original vision has pretty much been lost, and this is the latest example of that. Raiding the KBA revenue stream for a political purpose - which is what the proposed center is all about - marks the end of the KBA as an effective agency. Other raids are sure to follow, and/or KBA investments based on politics rather than objective, strategic, decision-making. Sad.

yourworstnightmare 5 years ago

This is a heavy-handed solution to a "problem" that was created by the Kansas legislature from whole cloth.

The "Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Institute" is a political and ideological move in the culture wars that is all about anti-abortion politics and not about science in the least.

As was mentioned earlier, the Soviets didn't like it that Darwinian evolution by natural selection clashed with their communist ideology, and so banished all Darwinian scientists to Siberia, and installed Lysenko and his ideas of Lamarckian inheritance as the "official" Soviet position.

It really is remarkable how Lysenko's ideas now dominate evolutionary science (not).

With this ideological shot in the anti-abortion culture war, Kansas furthers the risk of irrelevance in the eyes of science and medicine, just like the Soviets of a century ago.

billbodiggens 5 years ago

I propose that we work to merge the Kansas Turnpike Authority/DOT with the Kansas Bioscience Authority in order to pave the way for a more fluid flow of money to the chosen few of the state. Who cares what the money was first intended for. It’s the church of the here and now that is calling.

TalkSense 5 years ago

Good question. At the FAQ list on the KBA web site, the answer to the "Where does the KBA get its funding?" question is: "The Kansas Economic Growth Act created an innovative funding mechanism based on the growth of state income-tax withholdings from employees of bioscience-related companies. State taxes that exceed the base-year measurement of such taxes accrue to the authority for investment in additional bioscience growth. This mechanism makes it unnecessary to raise taxes or reallocate amounts from other state budgets. KBA funding has been capped at $35 million per year in recent years."

tomatogrower 5 years ago

Maybe someone should send this information to Brownback. Apparently he doesn't bother researching where funding comes from, and his minions don't seem to have a clue.

jwisekuguy13 5 years ago

Did you guys see that GOT when Varis said that Sam Brownback is one of the most dangerous men in all of Westeros?

Lynn Grant 5 years ago

I'm afraid that poor Sam is going to forget which Peter he robbed to pay which Paul. He will do anything to cover his @$$ in the inferior financial plan he has set in motion. Who will pay? With few exceptions, all of us. Remember this BS next November, you will have felt the brunt by then!

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years ago

Kansas... Government by the people and for the people... If you are SamtheShamIam people...

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