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Archive for Thursday, May 1, 2014

Budget negotiators reject $2 million for KU Institute of Translational Chemical Biology

May 1, 2014

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— A proposal to allocate $2 million in state funding for an effort at Kansas University to help bioscience research and development has been rejected in legislative budget discussions.

"We felt like we needed to review that further," House Appropriations Committee Chairman Gene Suellentrop, R-Wichita, said Thursday.

House and Senate budget negotiators reached a tentative deal on the final Kansas budget that was expected to be voted on by the full chambers on Friday.

Not included in that budget deal was the proposed Kansas Institute of Translational Chemical Biology.

Gov. Sam Brownback had urged legislators to include the funding during the current wrap-up session, but he didn't include the proposal in his budget amendment.

Suellentrop said the request for $2 million was an ongoing one for future years, so legislators needed more information before making the commitment.

The funding request also came at a time when April tax receipts totaled $93 million or 15 percent less than what was expected for the month.

Under the proposal, the institute would promote research and drug development and enlist collaborations with pharmaceutical companies.

KU spokesman Tim Caboni said school officials were disappointed that the institute was not included in the budget.

"It would have been good for Kansas and the Kansas economy and would have served as a magnet for outside companies to build and deepen their relationships with the scientists doing outstanding drug discovery work at the university," Caboni said.

Suellentrop said legislators would likely discuss the issue again during the 2015 legislative session.

Comments

Ken Lassman 2 months, 4 weeks ago

It wouldn't have hurt to use this news as an opportunity to let the general public know what translational biology is, which has been poorly covered in your previous articles and perhaps is part of the reason why the legislature has walked away from it? Here's a link from Baylor's translational biology website: https://www.bcm.edu/education/programs/tbmm/

Sounds to me that such a program, if well designed and managed, would have a good chance of positively impacting Kansas citizens, as it aims to focus on moving positive results in the reseach lab to the clinic/bedside. It would be good to know if the legislature just didn't get what translational biology is, or if they thought the KU proposal was weak, or they understood, think KU has a good proposal and rejected it anyway. All 3 reasons are possible but they are 3 very different problems, so it would be good to have some journalistic clarification on the matter.

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Scott Bonnet 2 months, 3 weeks ago

This legislature hates KU. Count on more childish, punitive behavior. Until we get rid of the anti-intellectuals in state government, this state is in for a rough ride. The stupid trickle-down tax plan isn't going to work, but don't confuse these guys with facts, their minds are made-up.

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Ken Lassman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The point for bringing up facts and information is not for the legislators; it's for the citizens who elected them. Hope springs eternal that if citizens are provided their own information, they can decide for themselves whether or not an elected representative is doing a good job of deciding what is good for Kansans, and, if given enough evidence, will show the door to those dysfunctional legislators who can't seem to find it themselves. And providing the information to citizens is the role of the media--in this case, the JW writers. Hopefully they can do that!

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