Tag: New Yorkers to Cure Paralysis
New York state budget officials have restored nearly $7 million in annual funding for spinal cord injury research after an influential lobby of paraplegics put pressure on Albany lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s administration.
The group, New Yorkers to Cure Paralysis, had tried unsuccessfully since 2010 to restore about $8.5 million in annual state funding for the research, which they argued is required to be spent by state law. Roughly $2 million was restored last year, and Mr. Cuomo’s original 2014 budget earmarked a total of $4.9 million.
In 1998, Paul Richter, a state trooper who was shot in the line of duty, and the late Christopher Reeve helped create the Spinal Cord Injury Research Program in New York State. The legislation levied a surcharge on speeding tickets — half of people with spinal cord injury are hurt in motor vehicle accidents — to create a trust fund for spinal cord injury research. The trust was the first of its kind in the country, and has been emulated by numerous other states. The ticket surcharge generates tens of millions of dollars annually; $8.5 million is supposed to be devoted to spinal cord injury research. But since 2010, that money has been swept into the general fund. We call on state legislators to put the money back where it belongs — into spinal cord injury research.
New Yorkers to Cure Paralysis is a broad coalition of doctors, medical researchers, health care advocates and patients working to reestablish the New York Spinal Cord Injury Research Program (SCIRP).