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      State auditors give UTPA, UTB merger green light

      The Rio Grande Valley is one step closer to getting a medical school tonight.

      State auditors released new financial figures for Senaate Bill 24, Which calls for the merger of the UTPA and UTB.

      The bill would also create a medical school in the Valley.

      State auditors with the Legsilative Budget Board gave the bill the green light on Monday morning.

      In a report released Monday morning, auditors said, "No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated."

      Auditors also a peek into what it will cost to go to medical school in the Valley.

      The report shows 50 medical students are expected to enroll per year.

      Tuition for all 50 of them is expected to cost about $175,000 per year.

      That's about $3,500 per student per year for in-state residents.

      The rate is far below the $6,500 $15,000 per year at other medical schools across the Lone State State.

      Texas State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa said a broad coalition is coming together to make the project a reality.

      A spokeswoman for Hinojosa said the state senator is pleased with Monday morning's report.

      State lawmakers are holding a hearing about Senate Bill 24 at the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday morning.

      Among those speaking, both State Senators Hinojsa and Eddie Lucio, Jr. in addition to:

      University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Ciguerroa UTPA President Robert Nelsen UTB President Julieta V. Garcia Edinburg Mayor Richard Garcia

      Action 4 News will monitor the outcome of Wednesday morning's hearing.