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Perry signs cancer research bill

Whatever else you may think of this just-expired session, this will count as a win for Governor Perry.

Texas will create a cancer research institute under a bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Rick Perry, who now needs voters to approve a constitutional amendment giving $3 billion to fund its mission of finding a cure.

Flanked by cancer survivor Lance Armstrong, Perry signed the bill creating the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, putting the state among a handful aggressively pursuing research that has traditionally been handled by the federal government.

In November, voters will decide whether to approve a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to issue up to $300 million a year in bonds to be distributed by the institute.

“We set our sights high, and that’s appropriate for Texas,” said Perry, who signed the bill at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “And I set my sights on the day when we talk about cancer the same way we talk about polio.”

[…]

Before the bill emerged from the Texas Legislature, some lawmakers questioned issuing billions in bonds, which could accumulate billions in interest debt. But the measure still easily passed the Senate and House.

In the end, HJR90 passed easily enough. It was getting it to a vote that was extremely difficult – the measure nearly crashed and burned numerous times. Being associated with the lame-brained Lottery sell-off idea wasn’t an auspicious beginning, and it was almost a casualty of the end-of-session Speaker’s race crossfire. But after all that, there it will be on your November ballot. That’s really all that matters.

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