The goal of Proposition 29 (the California Cancer Research Act) is to provide funding for cancer research in California by increasing the tax on a pack of cigarettes by $1. We’d like to take this opportunity to clarify two myths that opponents, including Big Tobacco, are spreading about this initiative:
Revenue generated by Prop 29 will stay in California. Section 2 of Prop 29 clearly states that the initiative’s purpose is to fund: (1) grants and loans for biomedical, epidemiological, behavioral, health services, and other research in California, (2) creation, staffing and equipping of California research facilities engaged in biomedical, epidemiological, behavioral, health services, and (3) increased efforts to reduce tobacco use in the State.
Scientists and patient advocates, not politicians, will oversee research funding generated by Prop 29. In Section 3 (page 6), Prop 29 proposes to create the HOPE 2010 Cancer Research Citizens Oversight Committee, which will establish a process for and make final decisions on soliciting, reviewing, and awarding grants and loans for research, facilities, and patient treatment. The committee will consist of nine members: (1) one member affiliated with a California Academic Medical Center; (2) three members selected from among the Cancer Center Directors of National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers located within the State of California; (3) the Chancellor from each of the campuses of the University of California that is a member of the California Institute for Quantitative Biological Research; (4) two members appointed by the Director of the California Department of Public Health, the appointments to be selected from among California representatives of California or national disease advocacy groups whose focus is tobacco-related illness, at least one of whom shall be a person who has been treated for a tobacco-related illness.
The first two types of committee members listed above will be appointed by California’s governor, but they are not politicians or lobbyists. In fact, Section 3 of Prop 29 goes on to say that, “No person who is required to register as a lobbyist under the provisions of any law of the United States, the State of California or any local government, is eligible for appointment to the Committee.”
The full text of Proposition 29: the California Cancer Research Act can be viewed here.