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Voters to Decide if Texas becomes Worldwide Cancer Research Leader

AUSTIN, Texas - May 24, 2007 - The House concurred today with the Senate-passed version of HJR 90, which assures a public vote on November 6 and offers Texans an opportunity to approve $3 billion in general obligation bonds that would provide $300 million a year for cancer research in Texas.

The companion legislation, HB 14, also passed the House and Senate and awaits Gov. Rick Perry's signature. Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor and founder and chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF), testified at the Capitol Friday evening in support of the bill.

"This is one of the proudest days of my life as a Texan," Armstrong said. "This legislation is a bold commitment to invest in cancer prevention and research over the next ten years. I am confident that the people of Texas will overwhelmingly choose to make Texas a worldwide leader in cancer prevention and research."

If voters concur in November, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas would fund research to prevent, detect and treat cancer. The legislation will also expand important cancer prevention, early detection and control programs funded by the Texas Cancer Council.

"This significant legislative success is the result of a united force to make cancer a priority in the state of Texas and, ultimately, nationally," said Doug Ulman, president of the LAF. "We celebrate this victory with the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Kill Cancer and the Texas Medical Association, and we are proud to be part of the coalition that supported this critical initiative."

Ulman continued: "When the scientific research, public health, non-profit and public sector communities collaborate, we can better ensure that the research priorities in the state are integrated with the overarching strategy to improve the health of all Texans."

More than 560,000 Americans - including 35,000 Texans - lose their lives to cancer each year. This year alone, 85,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in Texas alone. Cancer costs Texans approximately $30 billion a year in direct and indirect costs.