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September 11, 1981 - Image 124

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-11

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Page 4-B- Friday, September 11, 1981-The Michigan Daily
Budget hike for new 'U'
hospital may face appeal

Last month's state approval of a
budget increase for the University
replacement 'hospital may be
challenged by the state's federally-
funded health planning agency, but
University officials say construction
will begin as scheduled.I
Groundbreaking is planned for Oct. 1.
University President Harold Shapiro
said Wednesday that construction costs
will stay within the $285 million budget
approved by the state Department of
Public Health.
THE HEALTH department's decision
came despite a recommendation by the
Comprehensive Health Planning Coun-
cil of Southeastern Michigan to reject
the $75 million increase.
The health planning council is a
federally-funded' agency which reviews
all proposed construction of medical
facilities in the state. The agency,
whose members represent public input
to health planning, makes recommen-
dations on medical projects to the state
health department. The health depar-
tment has the final.authority to decide

whether a medical facility is needed.
The new hospital project, which has
been in the works for 11 years, will
replace the deteriorating, 50-year-old
University Hospital with an 11-story
main building, an ambulatory care
facility and a psychiatric wing-all
slated for completion in 1986. The old
hospital will be demolished unless the
University finds a non-medical use for
IN 1979 the health department ap-
proved the hospital project with a cost
ceiling of $210 million. In July 1981 the
University requested a $75 million in-
crease over the cost ceiling. The health
department approved the hike last
month, although the planning agency
had recommended disapproval.
The planning agency's executive
committee will vote Sept. 15 whether to
appeal the decision to increase the cost
of the University Hospital to a gover-
nor's board. If an appeal were to be
rejected, "the second step may be to go
to court," the agency's Executive
Director Terrence Carroll said.
Carroll said the planning agency is
considering an appealbecause it
believes the health department "acted
precipitously and had not really
weighed" the agency's arguments. The
agency believes "the mission of the
University Hospital could be accom-
plished with a project within the con-
fines of a $210 million ceiling," Carroll

DR. HERMAN ZIEL of the health
department said, "it was justifiable to
amend the original amount. One of the
major reasons was that without the in-
crease, they '(the University) would
have to cut out certain important
elements of the project."
Hospital attorney Edward Goldman
said the appeal process will not affect
construction of the main hospital. An
appeal will involve only the $75 million
increase, which covers the cost of the
ambulatory care center, renovations to
existing buildings, and inflation costs.
Shapiro firmly vowed that project
costs will not exceed the new budget.
"We believe it's an absolute
necessity-neither we nor the state can
afford it," he said. Under state
guidelines, the University could spend
an additional $43 million over budget
without obtaining state approval, but
Shapiro said the University does not in-
tend to exercise that option.
IF NECESSARY, the University
will adjust the nature and scope of the
project" in order to stay within the $285
million budget, Shapiro said.
Della Goodwin, president of the plan-
ning agency's executive committee,
said the council has appealed health
department decisions before, but has
not been very successful. The agency
has never gone to court on an appeal,
Goodwin said.

Daily Photo by PAUL ENGSTROM
UNIVERSITY CELLAR. EMPLOYEE Claire Gebben (right) signals she is available to approve another book rush
customer's check. The check approvers are a new addition to the book buying process this year.
Tuition tax credit -may eilea

WASHINGTON (AP)- Tax credits
for private school tuition, an idea long
supported by President Reagan, may
violate the separation of church and
state doctrine of the Constitution, ac-
cording to a key administration official.
Deputy Treasury Secretary Tim Mc-
Namar, the first administration official
to raise constitutional concerns
publicly, said a number of Justice
Department officials have similar
reservations about tax credits for
parents who send their children to
private schools-85 percent of which

are church-operated.
"WE DON'T WANT to do anything
disingenuous like pushing a bill and
then seeing it declared uncon-
stitutional. That's silly," McNamar,
the second-ranking official at the
Treasury said.
Up to now, only opponents of the
measure have raised the First Amen-
dment problem, while the Reagan ad-
ministration has promised consistently
to work for passage of the tax credits.
Many religious groups and other sup-
porters of the measure contend it will




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encourage greater freedom of choice in
education, but opponents argue tuition
tax credits would advance religious
training at the expense of public
ADMINISTRATION concerns about
the legality of tax credits come on top of
previously expressed reservations
about the proposal's economic
President Reagan promised during
last year's campaign to "wholehear-
tedly support" enactment of tuition tax
credits, and his aides say he remains
committed to the proposal.
However, administration enthusiasm
for swift passage has been ebbing
because the legislation would cost the
Treasury billions of dollars in revenues
at a time the president is trying to keep
budget deficits from ballooning.
SOME administration officials said
earlier this summer that the tuition
proposal was a top priority likely to be
included in a tax package the president
might send Congress this fall.
But McNamar said Congress might
not want to take up tuition tax credits
until next spring so members can cam-
paign on the issue for the fall,
congressional elections. That would
suit the administration because it
"gives us the time to look at the
question of constitutionality," he said.
"I do know that in some quarters of
the Justice Department there are very
strong reservations only on that
question," he continued.

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