Texas Legislature
9:51 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Senate Passes Bills Reforming Leadership & Transparency At CPRIT

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has been in troubled water over grant funding issues and a lack of transparency. In the wake of the group publicly announcing that it was shutting down its foundation, Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, laid out her bill to the Senate.

"The executive director of that foundation indicated on the record that they had given my office every piece of information that we had requested and she absolutely knows that not to be true," Davis said.

Davis' bill would force CPRIT to provide lawmakers with all records and public documents. Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, also authored a bill that addresses how the controversial group awards grants.

"It prohibits CPRIT employees, oversight committee members and program integration committee members from serving on the board of a group receiving a grant. It clarifies that business dealings between an oversight committee member and grant recipient are prohibited at any time, not just at the time of the committee members appointment," Nelson said.

Some fellow members like Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, do not believe CPRIT is salvageable.

"If it were my preference we would totally eliminate CPRIT after this debacle and embarrassment to the state and send that money that you want to spend on cancer prevention on our public health institutions," Eltife said.

Both bills won unanimous approval in the Senate and now make their way to the House for a final vote.