Week 4 Legislative Update from CAN
2011 Legislative Session - Week 4 Update
April 4. 2011
The fourth week of the state’s 2011 legislative session was dominated by budget deliberations in both the Senate and House, with each chamber’s full appropriations committee setting the stage for floor consideration next week. There are stark differences in the current spending plans, with the upper chamber’s $69.8 billion budget allocating substantially more dollars to state programs and services than the House’s more austere $66.5 billion plan. The American Cancer Society’s priorities continue to fare better in the Senate’s budget, with substantial differences in biomedical research funding continuing to be our biggest hurdle in the House of Representatives. The budget deficit of $3.8 billion has clearly had a pronounced effect on this year’s deliberations.
Following are updates on the American Cancer Society’s top priorities heading into the fifth 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 packages expected to go to the floor next week.
BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH – The Senate’s budget incorporates $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 funds for research designated in statute. 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) narrowly passed the House Appropriations Committee this week on a 12-10 vote. We encourage our advocates to contact their state representative as this issue proceeds to the House floor as early as next Wednesday, asking them to oppose HB 5303.
To take action on this alert today, click on the link below:
A different 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, heads to its second committee of reference, House Higher Education, next week. Its companion measure, HB 377 by Rep. Marti Coley (R-Marianna), has still yet to be considered.
TOBACCO PREVENTION AND EDUCATION – The Senate and House each now have a $62.2 million allocation for this program , and in a manner consistent with the budget request made by ACS and its tobacco control allies. 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, last 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 continue on the chambers’ respective floors 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