Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pedal to the metal for spinal cord injury research

A plan to funnel a $3 surcharge from every moving traffic violation — an estimated $11 million a year — to a spinal cord injury research fund cleared a key California Assembly hurdle Tuesday and could be approved by lawmakers by the end of summer.

Assembly Bill 190 — renewing the so-called Roman Reed law, named after a former Chabot College football player paralyzed during a tackle — was approved 4-3 by the Assembly’s public safety committee. It will go to the appropriations committee next month, then to the full Assembly and the Senate.

“This is by far the biggest step. It will be another two months for everything to play out,” said Reed, who runs the Roman Reed Foundation in Fremont. “We’re going to pass this.”

State legislators in 2000 agreed to fund spinal injury paralysis research through the state’s general fund and renewed the legislation in 2005. In all, the fund overseen by University of California, Irvine, has provided $14.6 million over 10 years to 120 projects.


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