Gov. Larry Hogan is mercifully making a great recovery from cancer after undergoing chemotherapy. I’m sure that everyone is very happy to hear the news and appreciates the joy with which the Governor and his family must have greeted it.
Beyond success in his personal battle against cancer, the Governor has used his illness to build support for those fighting cancer and to raise money for cancer research:
Facing cancer and using his office to rally support to fight the disease is about the best example of making lemonade from lemons that I can imagine. The Washington Post covered more of Hogan’s positive activity in a story today.
Cancer research, however, requires more than private support. Strong governmental support for medical research, such as at NIH here in Montgomery County, has been critical to medical advances in the fight against cancer and other diseases.
The Post neglected to mention that Gov. Hogan included a permanent 55% cut in state funding for cancer research grants in his budget proposal–a drop from $13 million in $5.8 million per year. Roughly 80% of the grants usually go to the University of Maryland, College Park with 20% directed at Johns Hopkins University.
Over the eight years that I imagine Gov. Hogan would like to spend in office, his proposal would have reduced spending on cancer research by $57.6 million. The General Assembly, controlled by the Democrats, fought successfully to put the money back in the budget.
It’s great the Gov. Hogan has raised funds for cancer research–a laudable use of his great personal challenge in fighting cancer, which he has handled with grace. But his budget proposal–a blueprint for his goals for Maryland–suggested other priorities.