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Thread: New York State Spinal Cord Injury Research Program S. 4934/A. 4934

  1. #1

    New York State Spinal Cord Injury Research Program S. 4934/A. 4934

    Hey everyone! It's been a long time since I've even posted anything on this forum. Since my trip home from Helen Hayes Hospital I've been living at home meddling away at the computer starting online classes in communications, researching out of my own curiosity, and even working part-time for an Independent living Center in Ulster County NY.
    But what I really want to talk about is my involvement in an attempt to restore funding to the New York State Spinal Cord Injury Research Program (SCIRP), which has had its funds (which it receives from moving traffic violation surcharges) reallocated to the state's general fund.
    The SCIRP legislation (below) allows for up to 8.5 million dollars to be deposited into the trust, but due to initial wording of the legislation, a minimum amount is not specified. In an effort to address the wording, I have met with NYS Senator John Bonacic and Assemblyman Kevin Cahill. With their help, we have been able to submit S 4934 / A 7478 (attached)which amends the previous legislation and calls for 5.6% of all moving traffic violations surcharges (151 million dollars) to be deposited into the SCIRP trust fund. This amendment provides vital flooring for funds not previously stated.
    Now let me rewind a little bit. My involvement in all this started when I went with my family to the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit in Detroit Michigan where there were three days worth of presentations and exhibits. I had the opportunity meet many fantastic scientists and researchers. I ran into Dr. Wise as well as an individual I had never been familiar with before. His name is Don Reed. Father of Roman Reed founder of the Roman Reed Foundation and the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act. The California law imposes a similar surcharge on motor vehicle violations.
    In my conversations with Don he recommended I reach out to Paul Richter, a former New York police officer who was shot and paralyzed. This man I would later find out to be the one behind the creation of the SCIRP legislation back in my home state in 1998.
    Later on I followed up with Paul and learned about the problems the program has been facing since 2010 and I went on to pursue my local legislators.
    And now I am outreaching to as many New Yorkers as I can to call for them to write to their State Senators and assemblymen in support of S. 4934/A. 7478.
    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions! I have attached the information I have regarding the program.

    Chapter 338, Laws of 1998, as Amended by Chapter 612, Laws of 1999
    Title IV, § 250. Spinal Cord Injury Research Board.

    1. A spinal cord injury research board is hereby created within the department for the purpose of administering spinal cord injury research projects and administering the spinal cord injury research trust fund created pursuant to section ninety-nine-f of the state finance law. The purpose of research projects administered by the board shall be neurological research towards a cure for such injuries and their effects. The members of the spinal cord injury research board shall include but not be limited to representatives of the following fields: neuroscience, neurology, neuro-surgery, neuro-pharmacology, and spinal cord rehabilitative medicine. The board shall be composed of thirteen members, seven of whom shall be appointed by the governor, two of whom shall be appointed by the temporary president of the senate, two of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the assembly, one of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the senate, and one of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the assembly.
    2. Board members shall be reimbursed for ordinary travel expenses, including meals and lodging, incurred in the performance of duties pursuant to section two hundred fifty-one of this title.
    3. The terms of board members shall be four years commencing January first, nineteen hundred ninety-nine.
    4. At the end of a term, a member shall continue to serve until a successor is appointed. A member who is appointed after a term has begun shall serve the rest of the term and until a successor is appointed. A member who serves two consecutive full four year terms shall not be eligible for reappointment for four years after completion of those terms.
    5. A majority of the full authorized membership of the board shall constitute a quorum.
    6. One member of the board shall be chosen by the governor to serve as chairperson.
    7. Meetings of the board shall be held at least twice a year but may be held more frequently as deemed necessary, subject to call by the chairman or by request of a majority of the board members. Board meetings shall concern, among other things, policy matters relating to spinal cord injury research projects and programs, research progress reports, and other matters necessary to carry out the intent of this title.
    8. Members of the board shall be indemnified pursuant to section seventeen of the public officers law.

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    Title IV, § 251. Powers and Duties.
    The spinal cord injury research board created pursuant to section two hundred fifty of this title shall:

    1. Formulate policies and procedures necessary to carry out the provisions of this title;
    2. Solicit, receive, and review applications from public and private agencies and organizations and qualified research institutions for grants from the spinal cord injury research trust fund, created pursuant to section ninety-nine-f of the state finance law, to conduct research programs which focus on the treatment and cure of spinal cord injury. The board shall make recommendations to the commissioner, and the commissioner shall, in his or her discretion, grant approval of applications for grants from those applications recommended by the board.
    3. Ensure that state funds, appropriated for spinal cord injury research are not diverted to any other use; and
    4. Provide the governor and the legislature an annual report by January thirty-first of each year succeeding the year in which this title shall take effect setting forth the status of funds appropriated for spinal cord injury research and the progress of the Board in terms of the results of its spinal cord injury research efforts.

    § 3. Article 2, section 17 of the public officers law is amended by adding a new paragraph (m) to read as follows:
    (m) For the purposes of this section, the term "employee" shall include the members of the spinal cord injury research board within the department of health.
    § 4. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provisions of law to the contrary, effective April 1, 1999, an amount not to exceed $8,500,000 shall be annually transferred from the general fund out of the mandatory surcharges collected pursuant to subdivision 1 of section 1809 of the vehicle and traffic law to the spinal cord injury research trust fund held by the state comptroller pursuant to section 99-f of the state finance law which monies shall then be deposited to the credit of the spinal cord injury research trust fund pursuant to section 99-f of the state finance law. Each such payment shall be accompanied by a true and complete report in such form and detail as the comptroller shall prescribe. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to authorize the transfer to the spinal cord injury research trust fund of any monies collected under section 1809 of the vehicle and traffic law that are otherwise authorized to be deposited to the credit of the criminal justice improvement account established pursuant to section 97-bb of the state finance law.
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    § 5. Article VI of the state finance law is amended by adding a new section 99-f to read as follows:
    § 99-f. Spinal cord injury research trust fund.

    1. There is hereby established in the joint custody of the state comptroller and the commissioner of taxation and finance a special revenue fund to be known as the "spinal cord injury research trust fund."
    2. The fund shall consist of all monies appropriated for its purpose, all monies required by this section or any other provision of law to be paid into or credited to such fund, and monies in an amount not to exceed eight million five hundred thousand dollars collected by the mandatory surcharges imposed pursuant to subdivision one of section eighteen hundred nine of the vehicle and traffic law. Nothing contained herein shall prevent the department of health from receiving grants, gifts or bequests for the purposes of the fund as defined in this section and depositing them into the fund according to law.
    3. Monies of the fund, when allocated, shall be available for administrative costs of the spinal cord injury research board established pursuant to title four of article two of the public health law and for funding spinal cord injury research projects administered by such board.
    4. Monies shall be payable from the fund on the audit and warrant of the state comptroller on vouchers approved and certified by the commissioner of health.

    § 6. This act shall take effect January 1, 1999

  2. #2
    Senior Member reedyd's Avatar
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    That is great Keith great to see some activity.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Leo's Avatar
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    Hi Keith,

    Thanks for keeping things going.
    http://justadollarplease.org/

    2010 SCINet Clinical Trial Support Squad Member

    "You kids and your cures, why back when I was injured they gave us a wheelchair and that's the way it was and we liked it!" Grumpy Old Man

    .."i used to be able to goof around so much because i knew Superman had my back. now all i've got is his example -- and that's gonna have to be enough."

  4. #4
    What do you want me to do?
    Just call?
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

    I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

  5. #5

    contacting legislators

    Anyone interested in contacting their legislators should try to write a short written letter in support of either amendment depending if you are talking to your senator or assemblyman. Nothing overly complicated, for example:

    5/9/2011
    Honorable John Bonacic
    New York State Senate
    188 State Street Room 509 Legislative Office Building
    Albany, NY 12247
    United States

    Dear Senator Bonacic:
    I am writing to you to express my strong support for S. 4934 in regards to the spinal cord injury research programs funding. Then for a little more impact you can add some personal story example: "I am a mother/father/brother/sister/survivor of a spinal injury". Give some example as to why funding is vital example "This research is vital to developing advanced medical treatments that have potentially positive ripple effects for our economy and our citizens. Funding this type of research allows scientists to develop advanced and potentially lucrative treatments, it attracts scientists and students to come work in our state to take advantage of the grounds, it is a high-tech job creator. Regenerative medicine is one of the most promising and advantageous fields of our time and we would do well to attempt to be the front-runners in 21st-century medicine." You could also add the economic, physical, and mental burden these chronic illnesses on our citizenry and society.
    It's really not necessary you add everything, but a short handwritten letter has the greatest impact on legislators. Give it your own twists!

  6. #6
    Done.
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

    I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

  7. #7

    thanks a lot

    thanks every letter makes a difference, spread the word!

  8. #8
    Can you make a Facebook page people can " like"
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

    I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

  9. #9

    awareness

    well I am working on a blog for my job and it will have a scirp page . Not too sure how to do the Facebook thing

  10. #10

    Blog

    here is a link to my blog pertaining to my job as well as a section on SCIRP
    http://gurguircalsystemsadvocate.wordpress.com/

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