Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

House plan cuts Moffitt's cancer research money

TALLAHASSEE — A House plan headed for a floor vote would take $50 million from cancer research programs — including $10 million for H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute — and use it to help cover the state's Medicaid bill.

The $50 million comes from a portion of the $1 tax on a pack of cigarettes. Lawmakers justified adding that charge in 2009 in part by using it for cancer research programs.

But a committee bill led by Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples, would repeal the law that funded programs at Moffitt, the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program ($20 million) and the William G. Bankhead Jr. and David Coley Cancer Research Program ($20 million).

House Democratic Leader Ron Saunders said using the money for a purpose other than its original intentions justifies the public's disenchantment with government. He said he voted for the 2009 tax only because of the money for cancer research.

"I think this bill is a very good example of why the public should not trust the Florida Legislature," said Saunders, of Key West.

Hudson argued that he had to find money in a tight budget year and that it "is a relatively small piece of their budget."

Moffitt, which has an overall budget of $770 million, uses the $10 million for 115 jobs focused on personalized cancer treatment, from biostatisticians to researchers and nurses.

Tampa-area Republicans — Reps. Richard Corcoran, James Frishe, Ed Hooper, Greg Steube and Dana Young — have voted with their party colleagues on the measure. Young said the idea was simply to move the proposal forward and she expected she and her colleagues would fight for the Moffitt funding.

The Senate keeps all $50 million for the research programs.

"Remember, that's what those dollars are supposed to be used for," said Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey.

The Tampa research and treatment center also is trying to hold onto $10.9 million in funding for training medical students and residents. Gov. Rick Scott has proposed wiping out that money. A Senate proposal would cut it in half, and a House plan by about 12 percent.

Another bill with Tampa sponsors would increase the portion of another pot of cigarette tax revenue that Moffitt receives. The plan is to use that money — an extra $10 million on top of $5 million Moffitt now gets — to help finance construction of research and clinic space at a 30-acre campus off Fowler Avenue in Tampa.

House plan cuts Moffitt's cancer research money 03/31/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 31, 2011 10:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Baker lowers expectations for primary


    Rick Baker officially lowered expectations Tuesday, saying his “battle for the future of the city” against Mayor Rick Kriseman might last until November.

    Rick Baker addresses supporters on Beach Drive Tuesday
  2. Former Sen. Greg Evers, advocate for law enforcement, dead at 62.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Former State Sen. Greg Evers, the Baker Florida strawberry farmer and veteran politician, was killed in a single car crash hear his home in Okaloosa County. The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed the death late Tuesday, but deferred any further information pending an investigation. He was 62.

    Former Florida Senator Greg Evers, R- Milton, was a passionate advocate for law enforcement and corrections officers. He was found dead Tuesday afternoon in a car crash. He was 62. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Polk sheriff: Gibsonton man sent child porn to Bay News 9 anchor


    A 20-year-old Gibsonton man was indicted on federal charges after authorities said he repeatedly sent child pornography to a news anchor for Bay News 9.

    Marchaun Browning, 20 of Gibsonton, was indicted on federal charges, accused of sending child pornography to a news anchor for Bay News 9 using Twitter. [Courtesy of Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  4. 5 things to do under $5: Type artists, shuffleboard, toy train show, Wildflower Walk


    1 Letterheads Typefest: The muralists who run Illsol Space, a gallery in Tampa Heights, said their respect for handmade fonts and sign painting techniques moved them to curate this exhibit featuring type-based muralists, hand-style lettering designers, sign painters, letterpress studios and type designers. …

    Colm O’Connor, a Dublin sign writer, is among the 22 artists featured in the Letterheads Typefest exhibit at the Illsol Space gallery.
  5. Foundation Partners buys Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home


    ST. PETERSBURG — Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, the Tampa Bay area's largest family-owned funeral company, has been sold.

    Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, the Tampa Bay area's largest family-owned funeral company, has been sold.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]