Week 7 Legislative Update
2013 Legislative Session Week 7 Update Friday, April 19, 2013 It has been a fast and furious week seven of the 2013 Legislative Session, and we need your help to move the needle on one of our priority budget issues. Neither the House, nor Senate has included state funding for the Mary Brogan Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program for medically underserved women in their budgets at this point. The Health and Human Services (HHS) budget conferees have been appointed, and those members now hold the key to restoring state funding for the program. Budget deliberations over the next few days will be critical in determining whether or not Florida dedicates adequate resources to screen thousands of uninsured women.
The $1.24 million in state funding the Legislature allocated to the program last session has helped more than 3,000 additional "working poor" women receive lifesaving screenings and services. It is imperative that we do not let Florida slide backwards and jeopardize the impact the program is having upon this vulnerable population.
We are asking that you please contact the HHS budget conferees now and request that they restore state funding for screening within the Mary Brogan Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program during the budget conference.
You can email these key legislators in a matter of minutes by using the following link: http://action.acscan.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&id=9436
Quick updates on our other priority issues…
BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH - Proposals out of both chambers depict increases in biomedical research funding, but they direct the dollars in different ways. The Senate has maintained the funding for both King and Bankhead-Coley and provided additional dollars directly to the major cancer centers in the state. The House brings the funding for both programs to a total of $10 million each and provides additional funding to the individual institutions.
TOBACCO PREVENTION AND EDUCATION - Both chambers’ proposals are generally consistent with our request of $65.6 million for the program in FY 2013-14.
In other news, the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act, HB 301 by Rep. Debbie Mayfield (R - Vero Beach), was reported favorably out of its last committee of reference and is now on its way to the House floor. SB 422, by Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (R - Ft. Myers), passed unanimously out of the Senate earlier this session.
LIGHTS OF HOPE - Only hours remain to purchase your Light of Hope for our April 22nd display at the Capitol. Please show your support for our legislative priorities by sending a Light of Hope to Tallahassee in honor or in memory of someone you love. For a $10 donation, your Light of Hope bag will be displayed on the Capitol steps as a reminder to all about the importance of making cancer a top priority this session. For more information, please go to: www.acscan.org/floridalightsofhope
As always, updated information on ACS CAN’s legislative priorities can be found at www.acscan.org/florida and you can get real-time updates on Twitter. Follow us at https://twitter.com/ACSCAN_Florida.
Yours in the Fight, Heather
Heather Wildermuth Director of Government Relations ACS CAN, Florida Division