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

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.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Stephen Steigman is director of Classical KC. You can email him at Stephen.Steigman@classicalkc.org.