Perry authorizes CPRIT to unfreeze some grants

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Associated Press

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 20 at 6:32 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Rick Perry has authorized the state's troubled $3 billion cancer-fighting agency to fund more than two dozen grants previously frozen by accusations of improper spending.

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas remains under a moratorium that began in December. But Republican leaders Wednesday gave the agency permission to finalize 25 researcher awards that were not shrouded in suspicion or controversy.

Public corruption prosecutors began investigating the agency, known as CPRIT, last year following the discovery of an $11 million grant to a private company that bypassed review.

Lawmakers continue to leave CPRIT unfunded in budget negotiations. They may reconsider if proposed reforms that would install new accountability measures are passed.

The letter to CPRIT was signed by Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus.

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