Huckabee Rescinds $2 Million for UAMS Projects

JANUARY 5, 2007 - Posted at 7:54 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Outgoing Governor Mike Huckabee says state money he had planned to use to help establish a cancer-research center in the University of Arkansas system will go somewhere else -- somewhere prepared to accept it without the sort of qualms expressed by the university president.

Huckabee yesterday rescinded $2 million in funding he announced for researching cancer and diabetes after legislators objected to a proposed shuffling of University of Arkansas system dollars to pay for the projects. In a letter dated today to UA System President Alan Sugg, Huckabee revoked the funds he had announced as seed money for a cancer center to be named after the late Lieutenant Governor Win Rockefeller and to establish an endowed chair to research diabetes.

Huckabee announced the funding for the projects at UAMS last month, but most of the money wasn't given directly to the school. Instead, it went to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The UA System had planned to shift money from its colleges for the UAMS programs, but Sugg said this week he would hold off on spending the money until lawmakers' questions were answered. He called Huckabee's funding method ``flawed."

Huckabee wrote in a separate letter to Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration Director Richard Weiss that, instead, he would authorize the release of $878,775 to the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission and $621,225  to the University of Central Arkansas.

Huckabee said in the letter that he would release $500,000 to U-A-M-S.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)