P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2013
AUSTIN — The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services today unanimously approved SB 149 by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, to restructure and strengthen the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. The bill now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.
"Our laws and rules have been twisted in ways that are disappointing and unacceptable," said Senator Nelson. "SB 149 reinforces our clear legislative intent that CPRIT be operated in a fair, transparent manner that is befitting of its lifesaving mission. We will not allow the actions of a few individuals to stand in the way of our effort to find treatments and cures for this terrible disease."
SB 149 strengthens governance of CPRIT to ensure it operates according to the Legislature's intent by:
- Restructuring CPRIT leadership staff;
- Establishing a Compliance Program to ensure all rules and laws are followed;
- Establishing a Program Integration Committee to oversee peer review;
- Prohibiting CPRIT officials from having business relationships with grantees;
- Prohibiting CPRIT Foundation donors from receiving grants;
- Directing the Foundation to publicly report its financial information; and
- Strengthening oversight of advance payments, matching funds and honorarium.
Senator Nelson also presented further revisions to the bill before it was approved, including recommendations from the Office of the State Auditor to:
- Allow the Oversight Committee to affirmatively vote to approve the Program Integration Committee's grant slate; and
- Remove the Attorney General and Comptroller as Oversight Committee members.
The committee also unanimously approved SB 406 which expands access to health care by increasing the practicing authority of nurses and physician assistants in collaboration with physicians. "This legislation allows highly trained medical professionals to collaborate in the delivery of care with the goal of increasing access without compromising patient safety," said Senator Nelson.