Some can­cer grants in limbo

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - Agency

also ques­tion­ing the fate of $85 mil­lion in awards an­nounced just this month.

Sev­eral mem­bers of the Texas House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee, in­clud­ing its chair­man, Rep. Jim Pitts, asked whether the Can­cer Preven­tion and Re­search In­sti­tute of Texas would still dis­burse that money.

“Is all this money go­ing to be put into a lock­box?” asked Pitts, R-Wax­a­hachie. “And are we go­ing to be given the key?” Maybe not. Although Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David De­whurst and House Speaker Joe Straus have called for a mora­to­rium on new grants, the can­cer agency’s lawyer said it’s un­clear whether that call in­cluded 72 grants, amount­ing to $85 mil­lion, that the agency’s over­sight com­mit­tee ap­proved at its Dec. 5 meet­ing.

The let­ter from the state’s top lead­ers said their mora­to­rium shouldn’t af­fect cur­rent grants — but the con­tracts for those grants ap­proved on Dec. 5 haven’t been signed.

Kris­ten Doyle, the agency’s gen­eral coun­sel, said she’s asked for clar­i­fi­ca­tion from the three lead­ers: “I don’t want to be the one in­ter­pret­ing what ‘new awards’ means.”

Rep. Dawnna Dukes, DAustin, sug­gested that the agency amend its agenda for its Fri­day meet­ing to stop the

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