Publications iconKansas Register

Volume 40 - Issue 21A - June 1, 2021

State of Kansas

Office of the Governor

Message from the Governor Regarding Senate Bill 159

Senate Bill 159, this session’s omnibus budget bill, makes many important investments in our state. But as with many omnibus budget bills, not every appropriation included is necessary or appropriate. Therefore, pursuant to Article 2, Section 14(b) of the Constitution of the State of Kansas, I hereby return Senate Bill 159 with my signature approving the bill, except for the item enumerated below.

$500,000 from the State General Fund to the University of Kansas Medical Center for clinical trials on a COVID-19 treatment using MSCTC-0010 cells developed at the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center

  • Section 46(a) has been line-item vetoed in its entirety.

This section provides $500,000 to the University of Kansas Medical Center to conduct clinical trials for a COVID-19 treatment using MSCTC-0010 cells developed at the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center. During debate on the Senate’s original budget, contained in Substitute for Senate Bill 267, an amendment to add this funding was wisely withdrawn. The medical experts who lead the research associated with this proviso have clearly and plainly communicated to the Legislature that such a clinical trial would not be realistic or even feasible given the timeframe and funding provided. A 2018 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the average cost of a clinical trial is $19 million, with the total cost of developing a new drug closer to $2 to $3 billion. Given those realities and the proven effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments that are now widely available, we should focus our efforts on increasing the number of Kansans who are vaccinated so that we can prevent infections, severe illnesses, and deaths. We should listen to those with knowledge of how clinical trials work when they tell us that the proposal outlined in this proviso is unrealistic and unneeded, and we should focus on saving lives by expediting vaccinations for as many Kansans as possible throughout the state.

Dated May 21, 2021.

Laura Kelly
Governor

Doc. No. 049183