P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2007
AUSTIN -- The voters of Texas will have the opportunity to establish Texas as the nation's premiere cancer research center now that HJR 90, a proposed constitutional amendment authored by Representative Jim Keffer, R-Eastland and sponsored in the Senate by State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, has cleared its final legislative hurdle.
"This is a major victory for the cancer community, but we have just begun to fight. We are going to take this momentum and keep it going as we talk to the people of this state, most of whom have in some way been impacted by this terrible disease, about what it would mean for Texas to lead the way in our search for the cure," Senator Nelson said. "This is by far my proudest moment in the Legislature, and I am so grateful to have played a part in this team effort."
The House today concurred with Senate amendments to 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. The election will take place November 6, 2007.
The enabling legislation also sponsored by Senator Nelson, HB 14, establishes the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas. That legislation has passed both the House and Senate and is awaiting action by the Governor.
- Establishes the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas;
- The Institute shall implement and update 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;
- and the $300 million in research would return $4.8 billion in savings.