Week 9 Legtislative Update
Week 9 Update - Session Adjournment
Friday, March 9, 2012
Just as the clock struck midnight Friday, the 2012 legislative session drew to a close, with the health care arena having seen significant reductions to Medicaid payments to hospitals in a budget balancing measure and a sweeping reorganization of the state’s Department of Health. The $70 billion budget for FY 2012-13 adopted in advance of the Legislature’s 12 a.m. adjournment included some significant victories for the fight against cancer. More than $107 million in mission-related appropriations for next year are on the way to the Governor, including funding for all three of the American Cancer Society’s top session priorities. The Legislature also approved substantial long-term funding packages, to begin in FY 2013-14, for the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa ($100 million over 20 years) and the Sanford –Burnham Research Institute in Orlando ($20.8 million over eight years), appropriations which will enhance research and treatment capacity and infrastructure in Florida. A synopsis of major cancer funding areas and priorities:
BREAST CANCER SCREENING – A state appropriation of $1,236,473, championed by Rep. Chris Dorworth (R-Lake Mary) was earmarked for screening through the Mary Brogan Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. This constitutes the full ask for our number one session priority, and marks the first time Florida will have invested its own dollars to augment the federal screening program for medically underserved women.
BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH - Funding for Florida's two peer-reviewed and competitive biomedical research programs, the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program and the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program, were appropriated $7,150,000 and $5,000,000 respectively for the upcoming year. Additionally, a number of institutions engaged in cancer research in Florida received substantial legislative appropriations for FY 2012-13: UF Shands Cancer Hospital - $7,500,000; UM Sylvester Cancer Center - $7,500,000; Moffitt Cancer Center - $5,000,000; and Sanford-Burnham - $3,000,000. Substantive legislation that will improve the mechanics of the King and Bankhead-Coley Programs, HB’s 655 and 657 by Rep. Marti Coley (R-Marianna) and SB’s 616 and 1856 by Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) passed in the session’s final week and now moves on to the Governor.
TOBACCO PREVENTION AND EDUCATION - The Legislature approved a $64,289,944 appropriation for the Comprehensive Statewide Tobacco Prevention and Education Program. This was very close to the Society's recommendation; moreover, the categorical allocations within the program were generally consistent with CDC guidelines and best practices for tobacco control.
In other mission-related funding allocations of note, the state’s program on Minority Health Initiatives received $3,134,044, while the Miami area’s La Liga, or League Against Cancer, was appropriated $117,173. A line item designed to enhance medical capacity through additional primary care residency slots in rural areas was funded at $3,000,000. Once funded directly from Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program funds, the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida received its own new earmark of $500,000.
A complete 2012 session summary will be available in the coming days.
As always, updated information on the American Cancer Society’s legislative priorities and outcomes, as well as grassroots alerts, can be found at www.acscan.org/florida.
Yours in the Fight,
Vice President, Advocacy & Public Policy
American Cancer Society, Florida Division