Prop. #6 Cancer Prevention Research

Prop. #6 Cancer Prevention Research

Prop. #6 Cancer Prevention Research

Proposition 6 (HJR 12) "The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to increase by $3 billion the maximum bond amount authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas."

Explanation

The proposed amendment would increase the maximum bond amount for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) from $3 billion to $6 billion. CPRIT provides grants and supports programs that advance cancer research. The organization, begun in 2007, is currently set up to receive $3 billion in funding until 2022. 

Arguments For

  • The state is the second largest source of public funding for cancer research in Texas, behind the federal government. Increasing the bond amount would ensure that the state maintained its status as a hub for advancements in the cancer field, and continue Texas’ national leadership in cancer research and prevention.
  • CPRIT has created thousands of jobs and brought in more than 170 researchers, including a Nobel Prize winner, to Texas.  It has generated billions of dollars of economic activity.
  • Increasing the bond amount would protect CPRIT’s future, because current funding for awards will run out in 2021. 

Arguments Against

  • Current funding of CPRIT is in place until 2022, so the issue is not an urgent matter. Voters may not want to consider it right now—three years in advance.  Instead the legislature might consider developing a plan to make CPRIT become financially self-sufficient.
  • CPRIT has a history of mismanaging funds. A ban was put on CPRIT grants in 2012, and was lifted in October 2013 after restructuring of the organization*.
  • The proposed amendment would cost the government $12.5 million in general revenue funds during the first two years, assuming debt service payments based on the issuance of this new debt.

For more information: House Research Organization HJR 12

*Despite Moratorium, CPRIT Board Moves Forward,Becca Aaronson Texas Tribune.