TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Bob Smith which would appropriate $6 million to the central New Jersey affiliate of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) to provide for comprehensive care and research was approved by the General Assembly today by a vote of 71-6, receiving final legislative approval.
“With this supplemental appropriation, New Jersey could realize complete regional coverage for cancer care and research, putting the most advanced cancer treatment techniques and skilled specialists at New Jerseyans’ fingertips,” said Senator Smith, D-Middlesex and Somerset, the Chairman of the Senate Environment Committee. “By supporting the efforts of CINJ through State funding, we are ensuring that all of New Jersey’s residents have access to high-quality cancer care and treatment without having to travel burdensome distances to see the best doctors.”
The bill, S-1862, would provide a supplemental appropriation of $6 million to the Department of Health and Senior services to increase the grant awarded to CINJ’s central Jersey affiliate, Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick, for the Fiscal Year 2005. In June, CINJ was awarded $18 million during the FY2005 Budget negotiations to be split among North and South Jersey affiliates, but with the inclusion of the $6 million supplemental bill, central New Jersey would also have access to services as well.
“Working with the North and South Jersey CINJ affiliates, we have an opportunity to put New Jersey in the forefront of cancer care and research,” said Senator Smith. “As we race for a cure to such debilitating diseases, State support is necessary to ensure that we remain at the front of the pack in terms of resources provided. If we fall behind in our support, we must recognize that failure is tantamount to tens of thousands of lives lost to cancer each year in New Jersey.”
The bill now heads to the Governor to be signed into law.