Bipartisan opposition arises to a legislative 'breach of trust'

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Bipartisan opposition has arisen in the Florida House to a Republican-backed proposal that breaks Florida? commitment to provide a dedicated source of funding for cancer research.

Late Thursday in the House Appropriations Committee, two Republicans ?Reps. William Proctor (R-St. Augustine) and Marti Coley(R-Marianna) ?joined Democrats in opposing a bill sponsored by Rep. Matt Hudson (R-Naples) that would end guaranteed state funding for three Florida cancer programs, including one named for Coley? late husband.

During debate on House Bill 5303, House Democratic Leader Ron Saunders (D-Key West) characterized the bill as a ?reach of trust?since lawmakers only two years ago (in the 2009 legislative session) approved a $1 per pack increase in tobacco taxes on the promise of new funding for cancer research.

?his bill is a good example of why the public doesn? and shouldn? trust the Florida Legislature,?Saunders said.

HB 5303 repeals provisions of statute related to the funding of programs for the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program, the William G. ?ill?Bankhead, Jr. and David Coley Cancer Research Program, and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute from state cigarette surcharge revenues.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.