This sounds interesting.
Texas could become a world leader in cancer research if state lawmakers succeed in a plan to bring $3 billion to the state.
The plan, which several lawmakers discussed today in a meeting with Gov. Rick Perry, Lance Armstrong and leaders of the state's top research institutions, would provide $300 million a year for 10 years to fund a statewide research collaborative on a disease that kills about 35,000 Texans a year.
"I can't think of anything that I think is more worthwhile, anything that will make Texas more the epicenter of an extraordinary focus worldwide in this effort," Perry said to the group over lunch at the Four Seasons in Austin. "This is a powerful moment in Texas history."
Perry compared the potential economic impact of the cancer research with that of the space program. He added that cancer research could be used to conquer other diseases.
Funding details haven't been worked out, but one possibility is for Texans to vote on a constitutional amendment that would authorize general obligation bonds that would be financed over 10 years.
"The vision's there, no doubt about it, but we have to come up with a structure long-term that's good for the state of Texas policy-wise," Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, said.
There is one point to raise from the weekend story that was a prelude to this meeting.
Federal restrictions on embryonic stem cell research also have contributed to the increased state role. Voters in California in 2004 approved spending $3 billion over ten years on embryonic stem cell research, which many Republicans -- and their conservative constituents -- consider immoral.
Efforts to expand cancer research funding in Texas, where Republicans control every statewide office and both houses of the Legislature, haven't included discussions about embryonic stem cell research, said state Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland.
Keffer said the goal is to mount a "full frontal attack on the disease."
Well, there I go being a wet blanket again. I'll just go away now and point you to Vince for further info. Check it out.Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 23, 2007 to That's our Lege