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SB 81 would amend the Government Code to expand the term of “appointed officer of a major state agency” to include a member of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). The CPRIT oversight committee would be permitted to conduct closed meetings to discuss issues related to managing, acquiring, or selling securities or other revenue-sharing obligations.
The oversight committee would be allowed to transfer its management and disposition authority over state royalties and income to the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company.
The bill would repeal a requirement that oversight committee members disclose certain campaign contributions. The full text of the repealed provision reads:
"A person appointed to the oversight committee shall disclose to the institute each political contribution to a candidate for a state or federal office over $1,000 made by the person in the five years preceding the person's appointment and each year after the person's appointment until the person's term expires. The institute annually shall post a report of the political contributions made by oversight committee members on the institute's publicly accessible Internet website and post a link to the report on the oversight committee's main Internet web page."
This bill would define a member of CPRIT as an appointed officer of a major state agency and then repeal political campaign disclosure requirements for CPRIT oversight committee members. This offends our limited government principle. We oppose SB 81.
Furthermore, as we have noted on other bills pertaining to CPRIT, the functions of CPRIT are best handled by faith-based and private philanthropic organizations. The mission of the organization would be better served if its duties were handled entirely outside of the bureaucracy of state government and without being beholden to politicians or political agendas for funding. Rather than reorganize the way CPRIT works, its legislative authority should be allowed to expire so that if it is to continue on from that point it may do so entirely apart from state involvement.