Week 3 Update from CAN
2011 Session - Week 3 Update
Friday, March 25, 2011
The rolling out of initial pieces of state budget proposals highlighted the third week of the 2011 session in Tallahassee. Early indications are that the American Cancer Society’s mission-critical priorities fare better in the Senate’s proposed FY 2010-11 spending plan, with substantial differences in biomedical research allocations a major stumbling block in the House of Representatives. The Legislature’s projected budget deficit for next year has now swelled to a staggering $3.8 billion according to the state’s economists, making the formulation of a viable budget an even more arduous task.
Following are updates on the American Cancer Society’s top priorities heading into the fourth week of the scheduled 9-week session:
BREAST CANCER SCREENING – The Florida Division’s budget request of $1.24 million in state dollars for the Mary Brogan Program to augment the CDC’s federal grant to Florida was not in the new administration’s plan, nor is it in either the initial Senate or House appropriations bills for FY 2010-11.
BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH – The Senate’s initial budget proposal includes $52.2 million for biomedical research, with $12.2 million for the King Biomedical Research Program and $10 million each for the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program, Moffitt Cancer Center, UF Shands, and UM Sylvester Cancer Center. The House has just $1.2 million for the King Program and proposes to eliminate all statutory earmarks for research. A House budget conforming bill that would end an annual allocation of $50 million for biomedical research from annual tobacco surcharge proceeds, HB 5303 by House Health Care Appropriations Chairman Matt Hudson (R-Naples) emerged this week. As the session moves forward, we will be calling on advocates to help persuade the House to reconsider its position. A policy measure the ACS strongly supports, SB 720 by Sen. Don Gaetz (R-Niceville), which would make improvements in law to the state’s biomedical research programs, cleared the Senate Health Regulation Committee this week, but has two other committee hurdles in the upper chamber. Its companion measure, HB 377 by Rep. Marti Coley (R-Marianna), has yet to be considered.
TOBACCO PREVENTION AND EDUCATION – The Senate has proposed a $62.2 million allocation for this program that is consistent with the budget request made by ACS and its tobacco control allies. The House appears to have a similar total for the program, although their proposed categorical spending for tobacco prevention and education has not yet been released. HB 891 by Rep. Bill Hager (R-Boca Raton), which would rightfully allow school boards more authority to regulate smoking on campuses, passed out of its first committee of reference, Rulemaking and Regulation, this week. A companion measure in the Senate, SB 1430 by Sen. Thad Altman (R-Melbourne), has also moved through one committee, Regulated Industries.
Appropriations deliberations will continue next week. As always, we encourage our grassroots network to promote our life-saving mission. Please continue to look for additional updates, and of course stand ready to respond to grassroots alerts. As always, updated information on the American Cancer Society’s legislative priorities can be found at www.acscan.org/florida, where you can also generate contacts to your representatives and senators. Thank you!
Yours in the Fight,
Vice President, Advocacy & Public Policy
American Cancer Society, Florida Division