State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, D-Berks, recently announced that he has unveiled a bill to allocate up to $100 million in tax credits over the next 10 years to help fund pediatric cancer research.

House Bill 174 would allocate $10 million in tax credits per year during the next decade to Pennsylvania businesses, similar to the existing Educational Improvement Tax Credit program that offers tax credits to businesses that contribute to scholarship organizations.

"This legislation is about giving Pennsylvania taxpayers and businesses more ways to join the efforts in finding a cure for pediatric cancers," Caltagirone said. "Pennsylvania research institutions are doing what they can with every dollar they have. We have the opportunity to do more, and we should. I think we have a moral obligation to take care of children first.

"It's heartbreaking to see these children suffer, and if enough of my colleagues make the right choice, we will be well on our way to preventing more suffering and further tragedies."

Caltagirone will be promoting this and other pediatric cancer legislation at a rally on Feb. 4 in the Capital Media Center in Harrisburg at 11 a.m. — a rally co-hosted with state Sen. Scott Martin, R-Lancaster, and Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre. The rally will include children, families and advocates, and will focus on raising awareness about the effects of pediatric cancer on Pennsylvania families. There will also be an overview of the two bills Caltagirone collaborated with Martin on in the previous legislative session that were signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf last year.

Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children. The average age of death for a child with cancer is eight. Additionally, it is estimated that seven children die each day from cancer nationwide.

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