It’s the sort of bad news you hope and pray will get better: New Jersey has the nation’s third highest rate of pediatric cancer, and the number of cases increases every year.
Of course, it will take more than prayer. To that end, Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday signed S-1431 and S-3724, two bipartisan bills that will increase investments in New Jersey’s pediatric cancer research. S-1431 establishes the Pediatric Cancer Research Fund and establishes an advisory board within the New Jersey State Commission on Cancer Research for distributing money deposited in the fund. It also makes it possible for taxpayers to contribute to pediatric cancer research on gross income tax returns. S-3724 appropriates $5 million to the New Jersey Pediatric Cancer Fund.
“Cancer is now the leading cause of death by disease for children under 15,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. It’s imperative that we continue to invest in research to develop cures and treatments for the various forms of cancer, and that we improve screening and other preventative measures.
Primary sponsors of the legislation include Sweeney and Sens. Anthony M. Bucco, Joe Pennacchio and Holly Schepisi and Assembly members BettyLou DeCroce, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Pamela Lampitt, John Burzichelli and Anthony Verrelli.