Hall Family Foundation $75 Million Pledge: Passion For Cause...Or Bribe?

Sep 4, 2013

A 4-story institute for translational medicine building would be built on top of an existing parking structure at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City - if Jackson County voters approve a 1/2 cent sales tax increase in November.
Credit Children's Mercy Hospital

On Wednesday, the Hall Family Foundation announced that it was pledging $75 million to Children's Mercy Hospital for build a translational medicine research building on Children's Mercy's campus on Hospital Hill.

But that offer comes with a condition: The money is only handed over if Jackson County voters in November approve a half-cent sales tax geared to raise $800 million for such life sciences research over 20 years. Don J. Hall Sr. said Wednesday "this gift eliminates the need for taxpayer dollars to go toward bricks and mortar,” while others say it's nothing short of a bribe to get voters to approve the tax.

In the first portion of Thursday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Hall Family Foundation president Bill Hall about the gift, and whether or not Children's Mercy Hospital can cash the check if the November ballot issue fails.