Accessibility to cancer clinical trials is an issue I have been working on for some time. They are a vital aspect in the fight against cancer, though many sufferers are unable to utilize them. Currently, only 4% of cancer patients enroll in trials in the US and less than 10% of those patients are minorities. This creates a real disparity in care and limits the reach of the trial. Frequently, high costs for the patients keep them from participating in trials or continuing with them. Such costs may include transportation, lodging, or child care, among others. S.2159 would clarify a protocol within the Department of Public Health confirming the FDA’s statement that reimbursement of ancillary costs is not considered inducement. Here in the Commonwealth, we are fortunate enough to have the best hospitals, many of them running innovative and cutting edge clinical trials. This legislation would expand access to these trials, making them available to more patients in need of life-saving treatments.
Read more about my fight for cancer patients here and watch WVCB’s report here.
December 5th, 2017
This morning I testified before the Joint Committee on Revenue with my colleague Rep. Jeff Roy, in favor of S.2188, An Act Relative to the accessibility and affordability of trade school education. Pursuing education and training at community colleges, occupational schools, and certificate programs are excellent opportunities for students to develop skills that will make them valuable members of the Senate Bill 2188 was filed to offer encouragement and financial relief to students pursuing such training. Specifically, it would allow students to deduct tuition payments and student loan interest payments made to attend occupational schools and other types of post secondary training. This measure is currently offered to students pursuing undergraduate education at 2 year and 4 year schools. This bill extends that deduction to students attending trade schools. Encouraging students who are interested in pursuing these valued and lucrative careers will help to replenish the workforce and provide alternative career paths. This type of education and training would allow students to enter the workforce with valuable skills at a much lower cost than traditional institutes of higher education.