NEW CAMPAIGN SEEKS TO RESTORE FULL FUNDING FOR NY SPINAL CORD INJURY RESEARCH TRUST
Advocates Call for an End to the Use of Dedicated Funds for General Budget Relief
ALBANY, N.Y. – A broad coalition of doctors, medical researchers, biotechnology pioneers and patients today urged state officials to fully fund the New York Spinal Cord Injury Research Trust program. The coalition, called New Yorkers to Cure Paralysis, also released a video in which patients and researchers talk about the achievements of the program and the importance of restoring full funding.
The landmark legislation creating the Spinal Cord Injury Research Trust Fund was passed unanimously by the New York State legislature in 1998. The law requires that New York State provide approximately $8.5 million in funding from a surcharge on moving traffic violations, which was chosen as a funding source since car accidents are a leading cause of spinal cord injury. From 1998 to 2010, the Trust Fund provided more than $71 million for scientific research at leading New York universities and research institutions, which helped establish New York State as the leader in research on spinal cord injury. But in 2010, the Paterson administration terminated funding to the program, using all of the proceeds from the surcharge to help balance its budget. This resulted in the disruption and termination of important research efforts and clinical trials. The last research activities linked to the original program are scheduled to conclude on December 31 of this year.