Governor signs bill that includes funding for Health Education Building
Dear Jayhawk for Higher Education:For the past three months, we’ve worked with Jayhawks like you to advance the University of Kansas’ top priorities for the Legislative Session: restoration of the 2013 cuts to higher education, and securing support for a new Health Education Building so we can train more doctors for Kansas. We’re pleased to report that, late this afternoon, Governor Brownback signed into law an education bill that includes progress in both of these areas.
The bill signed by the Governor includes $25 million in State General Fund-backed bonding authority for our proposed Health Education Building. (Earlier today, Governor Brownback hosted a news conference at the KU Medical Center to discuss the new funding.) We had already identified $15 million in KU funds for the project, meaning we now have $40 million of the $75 million needed for the building. We appreciate this show of legislative support, and it gets us a step closer to this desperately needed building. We will continue to work with policymakers, donors, and alumni to pursue this new facility so we can address Kansas’ crucial shortage of doctors.
In addition, the new law restores half of last year’s “salary cap” cuts for this budget year and all of those cuts in FY 2015, which combined means an additional $4.07 million for KU Medical Center and $163,703 for KU. The law does not restore the 1.5 percent across-the-board cuts from 2013. We appreciate Governor Brownback making this a priority in his budget recommendations back in January.
The law also includes $25 million in bonding authority for our proposed Earth, Energy, and Environment Center. The bonding enables us to begin construction in the next year or two.
The law does not include the requested $2 million for our proposed Kansas Institute for Translational Chemical Biology, which would help KU partner with pharmaceutical companies to create new therapies and grow the economy. We will continue to work with legislators on this proposal.
As you know, most legislators are currently home in their districts and will soon return to Topeka for the veto session. We encourage you to use the next few weeks to visit with them and continue advocating for KU. In particular, thank them for the support they’ve shown so far, and ask them to continue supporting the state’s flagship university when they return to the Statehouse.
Need contact info for your legislators? Visit our Jayhawks for Higher Education page and enter your address or zip code to instantly access contact information for legislators in your district.
Archived JHE messages and Hawk Points – talking points on specific KU topics – are available here.
Fact sheets, testimony, and information on KU’s budget is available at the KU Office of Public Affairs’ state relations page.
As always, thank you for your support of KU.
Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs
Kevin Corbett, c’88
President, KU Alumni Association