Florida Passes Milestone Cancer Funding, Investing in the Future of Cancer Research

  • Published: May 29, 2024
  • Updated: May 29, 2024

In March 2024, The Florida Legislature passed two landmark pieces of legislation in the cancer space--HB 5001 (the 2024 state budget) and SB 7072, These bills put the spotlight on cancer research and screening in the state.

The 2024 budget increases funding for many cancer-related programs and institutions, including AACI’s four members in the state and the Florida Cancer Innovation Fund. SB 7072 codifies and expands the role of the Cancer Connect Collaborative, a coalition of government leadership and medical professionals focused on all things related to Florida’s approach to cancer.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ family is intimately familiar with cancer. The state’s cancer research program is named for First Lady Casey DeSantis, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021 and has been in remission since 2022. The bill SB 7072 was co-sponsored by State Senator Gayle Harrell and continues Florida’s cancer policy momentum.

Each piece of legislation is aimed at advancing the cancer field in the state:

HB 5001:

  • $111.6 million for the Casey DeSantis Cancer Research Program which can provide funding to Florida cancer centers.
  • $20 million for grants for innovative cancer research, including emerging research trends and promising practices, which can serve as catalysts for further exploration.
  • An approximately $1.2 million boost to the Mary Brogan Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Florida’s Department of Health, this program provides breast cancer screening and diagnosis to disadvantaged women.
  • $60 million for the Florida Cancer Innovation Fund.
  • $20 million to Moffit Cancer Center.

SB 7072:

  • Advises the Department of Health (DOH) on the awarding of grants issued through the Cancer Innovation Fund.
  • Makes recommendations on proposed legislation and rules, best practices, data collection and reporting, issuance of grant funds, and other measures for state policy relating to cancer research or treatment.
  • Develops a long-range comprehensive plan for the Casey DeSantis Cancer Research Program by December 1, 2024.

These bills highlight Florida’s dedication to being a state leader in cancer policy. With the Sunshine State’s budgetary and legislative focus on cancer research and screening, the future is looking brighter for researchers, medical professionals, and cancer patients and their families.