Senator questions funding cuts for Medical College of Georgia

ATLANTA -- An Augusta senator is questioning cuts to the Medical College of Georgia recommended by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Instead, he argues for halting expansion to a campus in Athens.

The school would lose $5 million for general research and another $6 million earmarked for cancer research, which could force the closing of a Cancer Research Center on the school’s campus in Augusta, according to the Sen. Ed Tarver, D-Augusta.

The cuts were included in a version of the budget approved by the committee Monday. Mr. Tarver sent an e-mail today to the chairman of the committee, Sen. Jack Hill, R-Reidsville, questioning the cuts in light of funds left in the budget to keep on pace the Athens expansion.

“While I recognize the extremely difficult financial situation our state is experiencing, I question the logic of stopping an initiative that is up, running and successful at the same time that we allocate $7.7 million in new funding for a new initiative like Medical Education Expansion,” Mr. Tarver wrote. “Surely the Expansion of Medical Education could be delayed until Georgia’s economy begins to show some signs of recovery.”

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