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Gov. vetoes budget, med funds unclear


By Andrea Kelly
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
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PHOENIX - Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed the Legislature's budget yesterday sending the financial future of all state agencies back to the negotiation stage and giving the UA a second chance for funding the expansion of the medical school to Phoenix.

President Peter Likins said last week the funding was critical to the startup of the school. The Legislature's budget, approved last week, did not include any funding for the expansion.

The governor's January budget recommendations called for $7 million for the school. Likins said $6 million of that would be for the UA to use to renovate three buildings for the school, purchase equipment and build a staff at the school. The remaining $1 million would be for Arizona State University to use in funding the bioinformatics portion of the school.

UA officials said last week they hope Napolitano funds the full $7 million.

In a press release last night, Napolitano said she made clear in her budget recommendations that she was focused on education at all levels, as well as health care, public safety and natural resources.

Speaker of the House of Representatives James Weiers, R-Phoenix, repeated yesterday what has been said before regarding funding for the medical school: that it was not included because Legislators had not been provided with a plan for the school.

"Does it stop at 7 million? We don't think it does," Weiers said.

Likins said the long-term plan for the school would be released this summer.



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