TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senator Fred H. Madden that would allow taxpayers to make voluntary contributions on their gross income tax returns to help fund leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma research, and to provide support to patients and their families was unanimously approved today by the full Senate.
“Thanks to generous contributions from the public, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has made great progress in the fight to find a cure for blood cancers and improve the quality of life of patients and their families,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “A designation for donations on the state income tax forms will give more New Jersey residents the opportunity to contribute to this worthwhile cause.”
The bill (S-1175/A-2614) would establish a special fund in the Department of Treasury, known as the “Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – New Jersey Fund,” and would provide for a designation on the State gross income tax form to allow taxpayers to voluntarily contribute. Founded in 1949, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. Since its creation, it has provided $600 million to this fight, relying on donations from the public.
“With over a million people in the United States battling with or in remission from blood cancers, it is clear that more needs to be done to invest in medical research and raise public awareness about these diseases,” said Senator Madden (D-Gloucester/Camden), Vice Chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. “This bill represents our commitment to support the mission of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and provide vital services and assistance to those in need.”
Under the bill, all contributions for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – New Jersey Fund would be annually appropriated to the Statewide Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – a unified consolidation of the former Southern Jersey/Shore Region Chapter and the Northern New Jersey Chapter – for the purposes of providing support programs for leukemia and lymphoma patients and their families, advocacy for research, and public education on the issues of leukemia and lymphoma.
The bill was approved by the Senate with a vote of 40-0. It now heads back to the Assembly to concur with amendments before heading to the Governor’s desk.