TYLER — Senator Kevin Eltife (R – Tyler), on Tuesday filed a proposed constitutional amendment to discontinue issuing bonds for cancer research. According to KETK, a 2007 voter-approved constitutional amendment created the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, or CPRIT, and authorized the state to purchase bonds to fund $3 billion in cancer research grants over 10 years. Eltife says that the proposed amendment would not abolish CPRIT, the agency created to approve research grants to pharmaceutical companies and other entities. Research and prevention activities could be supported by other state revenue, he says.
“Like many Texans, I have lost a loved one to cancer and I understand the importance of research for cures and treatments,” said Senator Eltife. “However, I do not support the State of Texas going into debt to accomplish these objectives, and would prefer that it be funded on a ‘pay as you go’ basis.”
Senator Eltife did not support the constitutional amendment submitted to the voters in 2007 because of the funding mechanism. Recently, CPRIT has been beset by reports of improprieties in the grant awarding process. Proposals have already been filed in an attempt to address those problems.