Sen. Davis calls for CPRIT reform as emergency item
Sen. Wendy Davis announced Wednesday she intends to file legislation to reform the embattled Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. Davis is calling on Gov. Rick Perry to make the legislation an emergency item for the coming session.
The state agency, which launched in 2009, is the subject of several investigations.
A September internal audit of 14 funded companies raised questions over an $11 million dollar Peloton grant. The grant was approved despite the fact Peloton was a "start-up" company without a management team. The records show a "lack of documents available for review."
Now, the State Attorney General's office and the Travis County District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit are investigating the agency. So far, the DA's office has not made any specific criminal allegations.
In an open letter to Gov. Perry, Sen. Davis asked that he add CPRIT reform to his list of legislation to be tackled first thing, in January. Those reforms include evaluating whether private donors should "be allowed to supplement the salaries of the agencies’ employees, particularly where those donors have an interest in the awarding of those funds."
Davis is also proposing changes in the law to make the agency more transparent in an effort to avoid cronyism. In a separate letter to Comptroller Susan Combs, Davis requested the agency's audits be posted on the comptroller's website.
You can read Sen. Davis letter to the governor, below: