Perry Signs Cancer Research Bill, Voters Must Approve Funding
Texas will create a cancer research institute under a bill Governor Rick Perry signed on Wednesday.
He now needs voters to approve a constitutional amendment to provide three billion dollars to fund its mission of finding a cure.
Perry was flanked by Austin bicycling legend and cancer survivor, Lance Armstrong, when he signed the bill creating the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. That puts 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 dollars a year in bonds to finance the institute.
An estimated 35,000 Texans die of cancer every year, and 85,000 new cases are diagnosed.
Before the bill emerged from the Legislature, some lawmakers questioned issuing billions of dollars in bonds. They said those could accumulate billions of dollars in interest debt. But the measure still easily passed the Senate and House.