Updated 10/30/2012 04:56 PM
UT's Powers speaks out in favor of medical school
University of Texas officials hope taxpayers will help them add a medical school to the Forty Acres.
Tuesday, UT President Bill Powers made his case for having one on campus.
"It would be very good for health care in Central Texas, training and very good for research in health care issues," Powers said.
Proposition 1 currently on the ballot asks taxpayers for 13 cents per $100 valuation on their property, or $260 on a $200,000 home.
UT will fund the actual school, while the $53 million per year coming from taxpayers would fund training for med students in our community's hospitals.
Powers says an Austin medical school will help keep specialists here, preventing people from having to go to other cities for care.
"Austin is the largest metropolitan area in the country without a major medical center," Powers said.
Powers says it’s as crucial to our well-being as transportation and housing.
Clarke Heidrick with the Austin Chamber of Commerce agrees. He says the medical school would be a tremendous long-term opportunity for the community, and would create 15,000 to 20,000 jobs.
"The University of Texas is the largest economic driver that our community has, businesses have spun out of it,” Heidrick said. "It’s a tremendous magnet for people who want to come here and do great things."
First, voters have to lay the groundwork by approving Prop 1. Without it, the whole plan falls through, forcing UT to go back to the drawing board.