Christie’s Budget Lacks Cancer Research Funding [AUDIO]
According to a Princeton University researcher, each of Gov. Chris Christie's spending plans since he took office has failed to include $1 million in funding for the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research, and if the Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal is signed as is, NJCCR will not see funding next year either.
"The New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research has been eliminated once again from the governor's budget, this $1 million," said Dr. Alison Gammie. "If it's not reinstated, this will be the second straight year that no funding is given to the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research."
The good news is the funding has been restored in most years. The bad news is, it was not restored in the current year's budget.
"These breaks in funding can have really devastating effects," Gammie said. "Probably the most stark is that you can actually shut down research labs, and once a research lab is shut down, that's it."
Almost every human being's life has been touched in one way or another by cancer. Gammie said not only is cancer research critically important, it's also desperately needed.
"Sixteen thousand people in New Jersey will die of cancer this year, and another 51,000 will be given the news that they have cancer," Gammie said.
According to Gammie, Texas, North Carolina and Florida have taken the lead in cancer research, and by not funding research New Jersey runs the risk of losing prominent scientists. She also said funding for cancer research is actually an investment, because for every dollar that is spent, researchers are able to get $10 in national foundation research grants.
Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts said the commission still receives funding from the tax form "check off" donation, as it does every year. He added Fiscal Year 2013 was the last time that the commission had a $1 million budget inclusion as a negotiated legislative addition.
"As practice, we do not include the prior year legislative additions in our budget proposals, and they did not negotiate it back in last year," Roberts said.