Senators Urge UC-Irvine Budget Cuts
Three California senators in a letter to Budget Conference Committee Chair Wes Chesbro (D-Santa Rosa) asked that funding be reduced for the University of California-Irvine "until the Legislature is satisfied that the university is taking necessary action to resolve" recent problems, the Orange County Register reports.
Since November 2005, the hospital has disclosed problems in its liver, kidney and bone-marrow transplant programs, and its cardiologists' credentials have been questioned, among other issues (California Healthline, 5/23).
According to the letter -- signed by Sens. Abel Maldonado (R-San Luis Obispo), Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) and Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) -- problems at UCI "are potentially a significant liability to the state."
Maldonado said UCI budget cuts would be written into the fiscal year 2006-2007 state budget. It is unclear where the cuts would be made, but the letter specified that reductions should not affect education or patient care, the Register reports.
The letter also requested a report on all investigations of UCI since 1995. The UC system must submit the report to the state by Feb. 1, 2007, detailing changes made as a result of those investigations.
UC spokesperson Brad Hayward said, "A budget reduction would not support our efforts to rectify the problems and move forward" (Orange County Register, 6/2).