Another 10 states have proposed but have not yet enacted similar legislation. The surge in state legislation, which occurred from the late 1990s to 2001, reflects growing acceptance and awareness that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. The concept behind most state legislation can be traced back to a pioneering 1988 Florida law that designated a set percentage of revenues from fines for unsafe driving for spinal cord injury care and research. Today, the amounts and the percentages vary, but the majority of the 14 states each spend at least $1 million each year for spinal cord injury research. New York State supports the program with the largest amount of state funding, $8.5 million per year (Figure 8-1).
The structures and sources of funding vary among the state programs (see Appendix H). New York, for example, collects funds from a surcharge of $51 for traffic violations, whereas New Jersey adds an additional $1 to each motor vehicle or traffic violation fine. Some state programs, such as those in Florida, Indiana, and Kentucky, designate that the funds obtained