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Lack of medical school speaks volumes for north-south disparity

Reported by: Reed Cowan
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Updated: 11/13/2013 10:33 pm
Southern Nevada is 75 percent of the states’ population. Furthermore, 85 percent of the tax revenue comes from Las Vegas and southern Nevada. This begs the question -- why haven’t legislators funded a medical school here in Las Vegas? News 3's Reed Cowan continues his SPECIAL REPORT: The Civil War of the Silver State. Today he takes a look the lack of a medical school in southern Nevada.

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- First, there is some good news.

In recent days, Nevada higher education officials laid the groundwork to bring a medical school to southern Nevada.

It’s going to cost $68 million and it is a hurdle lawmakers will have to clear.

Before they can scrape together the dollars, experts say they’re going to have to have a reckoning with the north.

Critics of the way tax money is divided in our state say what happens in Vegas by way of cash, doesn’t always stay in Vegas.

The Brookings Institute says the fact Las Vegas is the largest region in America without a medical school, while Reno is the smallest city in the region with a medical school, is a black eye for lawmakers.

A medical school is an anchor of top 100 metros. Las Vegas has the smallest share of health services economy.

Translation, money and opportunity lost in the south and funneled to the north—or even to other states.

If the legislature funded the south like they do the north—Brookings says UNLV would be a Carnegie Research Institution as an anchor of technology in Southern Nevada and it would diversify the economy.

Jobs, money and growth are three factors legislators from the south vow to fight hard for.

They’ll go to Carson City armed with an economic impact study showing a med school at UNLV would have a total economic impact of $1.2 billion dollars by 2030.

With so much potential money to be earned, lawmakers say the people they represent are getting wise and demanding more money stay in the south.

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