New York State had funded a successful grant program for spinal cord injury research that was funded by surcharges on speeding tickets until Gov. David Paterson diverted the cash from the tickets into the state's general fund.
As I wrote earlier this year the program has lead to some major breakthroughs in the field, lured prominent researchers to the state and created good jobs.
This year's state budget takes a step towards restoring funding to the program by allocating $2 million out of the usual $8.5 million that used to go to the program.
Terry O'Neill who has championed the program since its inception sent the following letter to Speaker Sheldon Silver thanking him for restoring the funding.
29 March 2013
Hon. Sheldon Silver
Office of the Speaker
New York State Assembly
Room 932 LOB
Albany, NY 12248
Dear Speaker Silver:
It was gratifying and touching to read your press release this week announcing that $2 million in funding has been restored to the state budget to continue the Spinal Cord Injury Research Program (SCIRP) enacted by Chapter 338 of the Laws of 1998.
This program came into being when I was able to bring my friend Paul Richter, a State Trooper who had been shot and paralyzed in the line of duty in 1973, together with my great friend and benefactor former Assembly Assistant Speaker Ed Griffith. SCIRP was the crowning achievement of Mr. Griffith’s long and distinguished career in service to the good people of the 40th Assembly District. I am glad to see his legacy continued.
In the years since SCIRP grants began to be awarded, great and promising things have been achieved in neurological research and New York’s reputation for pioneering leadership in the advancement of human welfare has been considerably enhanced. Thank you for your leadership in preserving and furthering this historic investment in our future.