Prop 15 would create the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and authorize the state to issue up to $3 billion in bonds over 10 years starting in 2009 to finance research for curing cancer. Ten percent would go to cancer prevention efforts.
Texans to Cure Cancer, a political action committee whose treasurer is former Comptroller John Sharp, is supporting the amendment, along with several nonprofits and politicians in a bi-partisan effort.
Cancer is expected to kill 37,030 Texans this year, and 95,310 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in Texas in 2007, according to Texans Curing Cancer. The disease is the leading cause of death for Texas women between ages 35 and 74 and the second-leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 14.In Texas, lung cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer, followed by breast, prostate and colon cancer, said James Gray, head of government relations in Texas for the American Cancer Society.
One reason the state amendment is so necessary, Gray said, is because federal funding isn’t sufficient and most cancer research grants don’t get financed.
Still, Texas has major urban cancer research facilities and there is cancer research occurring in mid-sized cities like Tyler and Lubbock, Gray said. He said passage of the amendment could lead to more research in those places.
Excerpted from AP News article by Kelley Shannon, October 4