Assemblyman Michael J. Cusick (D-Mid-Island) announced that the Assembly passed legislation he authored that will lead to more research, education and treatment funding for certain blood diseases. The bill would provide check-off boxes on New York State income tax forms for donations to leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma organizations (A.3075).
“Including these check-off boxes on our state tax forms provides New Yorkers with the easiest and most convenient means of making donations to these life-saving efforts,” Cusick said.
In New York State alone, approximately 9,500 people are diagnosed with blood cancers each year, and 3,000 deaths from these diseases in 2008. Blood diseases like leukemia are especially prevalent among children and young adults under the age of 20 for whom it is the leading cause of disease-related death.
“Similar check-off boxes for breast and prostate cancers and Alzheimer’s disease have proven to be a very effective means of raising funds for the research and treatment of those deadly diseases,” Cusick said. Since 1995, New Yorkers have donated over $17 million to seven special check-off funds.
“Giving people the option to make donations to leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma organizations by simply checking off a box while filling out their taxes would signify a giant step toward finding cures for these diseases,” said Cusick.
Another provision in the legislation would empower the state health commissioner to accept grants, develop and implement programs concerning blood diseases and enter into contracts for further research.
“Research is vital in the battle against these diseases, and hopefully, increased funding from donations will improve treatment and find a cure,” Cusick said.
The bill is sponsored in the Senate by Senator Joseph Robach.