Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Moffitt Cancer Center Would Get More Cigarette Tax Funding Under Bill

Thomas Iacobucci/ WUSF
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A Senate health care committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would increase funding for the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute by giving the center a larger share of the state’s cigarette tax collections. 

According to a staff analysis of the proposal (SB 494), the Tampa-based cancer hospital would receive 7 percent of the state’s cigarette tax collections, beginning in July, an approximately $11.4 million increase over the amount Moffitt currently receives.

Moffitt would receive 10 percent of cigarette tax collections — a $22.9 million boost over the current amount — in 2023. Moffitt currently receives about 4 percent of the state’s cigarette tax collections, or about $15.6 million per year.

The Senate Health Policy Committee unanimously approved the measure hours before the House Select Committee on the Integrity of Research Institutions was slated to hold an inaugural meeting. House Speaker José Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, formed the select committee after the resignation of officials at Moffitt Cancer Center because of issues involving work in China.

The Senate proposal, sponsored by Republican Sen. Wilton Simpson of Trilby, has two more committee stops before heading to the floor for a full Senate vote. A House companion bill (HB 411) has been filed.