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Bill Would Require Stem Cell Center At KU Med (UPDATED)

Updated at 7:19 a.m. The Kansas House passed the bill late Tuesday evening.

The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a bill requiring the University of Kansas Medical Center to establish a stem cell research center

The Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center would work only with adult stem cells. Supporters say the center could lead to new medical treatments.

“It is very much within the authority of the Legislature to create policy that we think is in the best interest of the state,” said Representative Dave Crum, a Republican from Augusta.

But Republican Barbara Bollier, from Mission Hills, called it an unfunded mandate, because lawmakers aren't providing money for the center. She said lawmakers haven't legislated what university researchers should do in the past and that KU Med is already researching these types of treatments.

“The doctors and the researchers that are involved know what they are doing, and they don’t need us to set up a specific stem cell therapy treatment center,” Bollier said.

A final vote on the measure could come Wednesday.