Tarver wants funding assurances

Concerned about the future of cancer research at Medical College of Georgia in the face of current and looming state budget cuts, Georgia Sen. Ed Tarver is looking for assurances.

Mr. Tarver, D-Augusta, sent an e-mail Tuesday to House Appropriations Chairman Ben Harbin, R-Evans, and Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Hill, R-Reidsville, asking for a meeting Friday.

Mr. Tarver wants them to hear from MCG Cancer Center Director Khapil Bhalla about the impact on the center and the need for more secure funding. The school receives $5 million from the state in a special funding initiative for cancer research that was briefly threatened during the last legislative session before it was restored.

“To the extent that MCG is affected, yes I am affected” by the cuts, Dr. Bhalla said.

As state revenues continue to lag, Mr. Tarver said, there is “more and more discussion” about a special session being called to institute another round of budget cuts, possibly in mid- to late August or September.

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