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UT announces med school plans as lawsuit moves forward

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TWC News: UT announces med school plans as lawsuit moves forward
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Just one day after Travis County voters approved Central Health Prop 1, the University of Texas isn't wasting any time getting started on the future med school.

University officials announced their plans for the school Wednesday, even as Prop 1's opposition headed back to court.

The school and the teaching hospital are slated to be built near the University Medical Center Brackenridge and the current nursing school. If everything goes according to plan, the first med students will be walking into class by 2016.

"This will increase our footprint, if you will, and impact in the health area but also across the country in the academic area," UT President Bill Powers said.

The school would be paid for by a variety of sources. Last May, the UT Board of Regents pledged $30 million to the project and Seton Healthcare Family committed $250 million. Local taxpayers will contribute $54 million per year, and the federal government will contribute more than double that figure.

Though Prop 1 passed Tuesday, a lawsuit filed last month against the proposition could change everything.

Travis County Taxpayers Union Special PAC hired attorney Stephen Casey to file the suit. He says the ballot language was misleading and that Central Texas Healthcare District cannot collect money to fund a medical school.

"This is a legal challenge that they need to take seriously," Casey said.

A federal judge will hear arguments on Nov. 14.

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