BY BOB HOLT
As part of last year’s state budget, Governor Christie proposed eliminating $1 million in funding for the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research. Now the cut is on the table again.
A six-hour hearing of the Assembly Budget Committee was held on health and human services programs this week. Dr. Alison Gammie of the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University spoke on behalf of the NJCCR.
Gammie said that one out of four deaths in the United States comes from cancer. According to nj1015.com, she said in New Jersey, “16,400 people will die of the disease in 2013 and an additional 50-thousand or so will be given the news that they have cancer.”
The $1 million in funds was restored to the budget last year. The NJCCR funds early-stage research for cancer. Gammie said, according to NJBIZ, "By educating and supporting cancer researchers, we are feeding this really important industry in New Jersey.”
NJ.com reports that the 2014 budget also has no funds for programs preventing children from starting to smoke, or that help others quit. Ethan Hasbrouck of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said, “New Jersey has now dropped to 50th in the ranking of state support for tobacco control programs.”
Gammie says the NJCCR has helped to begin the careers of prominent New Jersey scientists. She believes money can be gained by funding cancer research. She said, according to nj1015.com, “For every dollar that is spent researchers are able to get $10 in national foundation research grants.”
Assembly Budget Committee chairman, Vincent Prieto says the legislators will try to reinstate this year’s research funding.