The S.C. House set aside $1 million for sickle cell disease research and education in its version of the state budget.
Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, filed the budget amendment that sets aside the funding.
The amendment directs the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services to transfer the funding to the Medical University of South Carolina.
Cobb-Hunter stated that the amendment was in honor of Rena Grant, the widely-respected legislative director of the House Ways and Means Committee who recently passed away after a long battle with sickle cell disease.
The measure passed the House unanimously, 124-0.
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The amendment earned praise from a longtime proponent of sickle cell disease research and education, Rep. John King.
“I am extraordinarily grateful for the work of Rep. Cobb-Hunter and all of my colleagues in the House,” the York Democrat said.
King said, “Sickle cell disease is a serious issue that affects the lives of thousands of people in South Carolina, especially those of us in the black community. This sort of investment in researching and raising awareness for this terrible disease is long overdue.”
The amended state budget now goes before the South Carolina Senate.