AUSTIN (Nexstar) — The Texas Senate unanimously passed a bill to continue funding the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
“The fight against cancer is far from over, and the work CPRIT enables is more critical than ever,” a statement released by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network of Texas reads. “Just this year, over 41,000 Texans will die of cancer and there will be an estimated 124,000 new cancer diagnoses.”
House Joint Resolution 12 passed out of the Texas House mid-April. The legislation proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to increase the maximum bond amount authorized for CPRIT to $6 billion. The ballot proposal would be presented to voters during the November election. Those opposed to the bill have pushed for CPRIT to be financially self-sufficient and say funding cancer research isn’t an essential function of state government. However, supporters of the bill stress that ongoing funding and taxpayer support of CPRIT is critical to keep the agency’s commitment to its mission and the state as a leader on cancer research.
“The Senate understands what a recent poll says: 89 percent of Texas voters agree it is important for the state to remain a national leader in cancer research and prevention. 78 percent of voters believe it’s more important to continue CPRIT’s lifesaving work, and we look forward to hearing from those voters in November when it is time to vote on CPRIT funding,” the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network of Texas said.
According to the agency’s website, CPRIT has helped recruit 170 cancer researchers and their labs to Texas. More than five million prevention services have been provided to Texans through CPRIT.