Legislative freshmen’s bipartisan bill, now law, lets tax refund to go to pediatric cancer research, or part of it to rape crisis centers

Gov. Steve Beshear held a ceremonial signing Aug. 12 of a bill that creates a option on individual state income-tax returns to divert refunds for the study and treatment of pediatric cancer. “Cancer is the second leading cause of death in children,” Beshear noted.

From 2008-2012, Kentucky had approximately 200 cases each year of cancer among people up to the age of 19, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“This legislation will fuel innovative pediatric cancer research being done here at the University of Kentucky and will directly benefit some of the sickest children in the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK’s executive vice president for health affairs. “Thanks to this bill, now all Kentuckians will have the opportunity to advance pediatric cancer research.”

The bill was sponsored by freshman Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, whose young son is a pediatric cancer survivor. It became law June 24. Wise said he dedicated the bill “to the families who have been affected or are dealing with pediatric cancer,” and called it a testament to legislative bipartisanship.

The bill also allows individuals to designate a portion of their tax refund to a new trust fund to support rape crisis centers, incorporating legislation sponsored by freshman Rep. Chris Harris, D-Forest Hills (Pike County).

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