Lawmakers Extend CPRIT's Life Span
Charting the Texas Legislature: CPRIT — August 2017
Tex Med. 2017;113(7):44.
By Sean Price
Texas lawmakers approved sunset legislation that will prolong the life of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) from 2021 to 2023. Senate Bill 81, authored by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), also added two years to CPRIT's eligibility to allocate funds. That allocation authority will now extend to 2022.
Ernest Hawk, MD, vice president at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said SB 81 will give CPRIT time to continue funding work that will help communities detect and prevent cancer.
"It's a very big deal for the cancer research and control community," he said. "That research that would have been lost can now be continued."
Texas voters created CPRIT in 2007 by approving Proposition 15, a Texas Medical Association-supported constitutional amendment that authorized the state to issue bonds to fund cancer research and prevention. CPRIT's job is to promote innovation and growth in cancer research, prevention, and detection. It also updates and implements the Texas Cancer Plan, which aims to reduce cancer in Texas.
CPRIT has been authorized to allocate as much as $3 billion in bonds to fund cancer research and prevention programs. That makes it the second-largest taxpayer-funded cancer research organization in the country.
In 2013, state officials discovered mismanagement and improprieties surrounding three CPRIT grants totaling $56 million. CPRIT was shut down for 10 months. It reopened after the governing board was replaced and more stringent safeguards were put in place. But it lost valuable time in making grants. By 2016, the agency had awarded just $1.5 billion, or half, of its total funding.
Sean Price can be reached by phone at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1392, or (512) 370-1392; by fax at (512) 370-1629; or by email.
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