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TEXAS SENATE APPROVES CANCER INSTITUTE
AUSTIN -- The Texas Senate today approved HB 14, establishing the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, and HJR 90, allowing voters to authorize up to $300 million per year for cancer research and prevention, not to exceed $3 billion over the next 10 years.
"This is a historic step forward in the fight against cancer," said the Senate sponsor, State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewsiville, noting that cancer costs Texas taxpayers more than $30 billion every year. "We are making a wise investment that will establish Texas as the nation's premiere cancer research center, bring jobs and economic development, and, most importantly, reduce both the fiscal and human costs of cancer."
The bill had a key supporter: 7-time Tour de France champion and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. "I applaud Senator Nelson for her leadership and the Senate for passing these bills today. This legislation would make Texas a worldwide leader in cancer prevention and research," he said.
HB 14 and HJR 90 by Representative Keffer would establish the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, which will work to reduce the prevalence of cancer in Texas and distribute up to $300 million per year in cancer research grants and loans, not to exceed $3 billion over 10 years, with up to 10 percent of those dollars used for cancer prevention. The state would also receive a portion of royalties, patents and licenses that could potentially provide funding for this initiative.
- Establishes the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas;
- The Institute shall implement and update to the Texas Cancer Plan, the state's strategic plan to reduce the prevalence of cancer;
- Its Oversight Committee will distribute grants and provide loans for cancer research based on the recommendations of a Scientific Research Committee;
- The Institute will collect a portion of proceeds from patents, licenses and royalties stemming from any medical breakthrough of a grantee;
- Each grantee must provide a 50 percent match, which will turn the overall $3 billion investment into $4.5 billion;
- The Legislature will have the option of issuing bonds or using general revenue funds over the next 10 years.
Fast Facts on Cancer Impact in Texas:
- We lose 35,000 Texans a year to cancer (accounting for 1 in 4 deaths per year);
- 90,000 new cases are diagnosed every year;
- It is the No. 1 killer of women 35-74 and strikes one out of every two men;
- Costs Texans $30 billion per year in direct and indirect costs;
- Every dollar invested in medical research has a $16 return in medical cost savings;
- The $300 million in research would return $4.8 billion in savings.
Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, represents District 12, encompassing parts of Tarrant and Denton counties.