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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                 
September 23, 2012

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Tyler Haskell (202) 431-0905 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


SACRAMENTO – A bill to allow voluntary contributions to two popular cancer research tax check-off funds was signed by the Governor yesterday.

Senate Bill 1359, by State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), extends the voluntary contribution check-offs on state tax forms for the California Breast Cancer Research Program and the California Cancer Research Fund for five years. Without SB 1359, these popular check-offs would expire on January 1, 2013.

“For a number of years, Californians have been able to voluntarily “check the box and fund the fight” to eliminate breast cancer,” Simitian said. “It’s brought in millions of dollars in voluntary contributions and funded research and education toward the cause of eliminating breast cancer. We want to continue this opportunity, so that, if they choose, Californians can contribute quickly and conveniently to programs they support.”

The California Breast Cancer Research Program, the largest state-funded research effort in the nation, leads innovations in research and education. Since 2008, the Breast Research Program has brought in more than $2.5 million in funding through the state tax check-off. The California Cancer Research Fund conducts research and provides prevention and awareness programs for communities disproportionately impacted by cancer. Since 2008, the Cancer Fund tax check-off has brought in more than $1.3 million in funding.

Simitian said he learned in late August that the two check-off funds were set to expire at the end of this year, and worked with cancer organizations to rescue the funds. “This is a winner all around,” said Simitian, who amended a piece of his own legislation to rescue the check-offs just a week before the end of session. “Good work gets funded, there’s no cost to the state, and the public is given an easy way to voluntarily ‘check the box and fund the fight.’”

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