State lawmakers tour ECU's Brody School of Medicine

Published: Aug. 1, 2019 at 8:40 AM EDT
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State legislators toured The Brody School Of Medicine Thursday to explore expansion options with the state budget.

Funding remains frozen for this project and other critical projects as the state budget is still in limbo.

"To see this, to see the challenged that the medical school has but to see the opportunities that are there to be presented with the expansion is what this is all about," says Speaker Of The House Tim Moore.

Moore says the state budget is in limbo still because of Governor Roy Cooper's push for Medicaid expansion for all. The governor says he presented a balanced. responsible compromise.

"Really what we need to do is put that issue to the side, we'll deal with that. Put that to the side and deal with the budget because this is a $24 billion budget that not only funds critical projects like Brody that we just saw, but projects just as important in other parts of the state."

East Carolina University Interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach says this project no only benefits ECU but the entire region.

He says, "This facility is the best hope for building the healthcare workforce of the eastern part of the state."

Gerlach believes The Brody School Of Medicine is unique when compared to other medical schools in North Carolina.

"We have a lot of great medical schools but none of them do what we do," says Gerlach.

He adds the medical school is geared at patient treatment and creating a culture of better public health.

Moore wants to see the budget passed so this project can begin.

He says, "If we don't get this budget adopted, we have to start over. The budget that we passed, we started that in the earnest in February, passed it in June, now we're already into the fiscal year in July."

Moore anticipates the budget will eventually get enough votes.

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Some state lawmakers are headed east on Thursday to tour East Carolina's Brody School of Medicine and the location for a possible new addition to the university.

Speaker Tim Moore, Representative Greg Murphy, and other members of the House will tour the Brody School of Medicine's facilities and the planned location for a new building.

In the Republican's state budget that Governor Roy Cooper vetoed, $215 million of the state's $24 billion is set to go to a new facility at the school.

Those funds are in limbo until both the governor and the Republican-led legislature come to a budget compromise.