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Senate Panels Support More Money To Help Build New Moffitt Campus

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

The bill, which would change a formula for distributing cigarette tax revenues, would provide millions of additional dollars to Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center.

With supporters saying the proposal would help fund a new campus to treat cancer patients, a Senate committee Thursday unanimously approved a measure that would provide millions of additional dollars each year to Moffitt Cancer Center.

The bill (SB 866), sponsored by Sen. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, would change a formula for distributing cigarette tax revenues.

The Tampa cancer center has received about $15.5 million a year through the current formula, but the proposed changes would lead to it receiving $26.9 million starting next fiscal year and $38.4 million starting in the 2024-25 fiscal year, according to a Senate staff analysis.

The proposal would reduce the amount of cigarette tax dollars going into the state’s general revenue.

Hooper told members of the Senate Finance and Tax Committee that the proposal would help Moffitt build a new campus.

“I know they have totally run out of room, and the expansion of the Moffitt Cancer Center serves the entire state,” said Sen. Gayle Harrell, a Stuart Republican who serves on the Finance and Tax Committee and has long been involved in health care issues.

Before being approved Thursday by the Finance and Tax Committee, the proposal also received unanimous support from the Senate Health Policy Committee.

It needs to clear the Appropriations Committee before it could go to the full Senate.