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California a step closer to stem cell funding

7 June 2004
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 261

A bond proposal organised by the group Californians for Stem Cell Research and Cures (CSCRC) in order to facilitate state funding for embryonic stem cell (ES cell) research, has qualified for ballot on 2 November. The campaign, which began in February, aimed to establish a three billion dollar bond. The campaign group wanted the bond to provide $295 million of state funding per year to Californian universities, research institutes and companies involved in research into ES cells taken from human embryos that are less than two weeks old. It also wants to allocate funding for cloning projects to create stem cells for regenerative therapies, but specifies that cloning for reproductive purposes is not to be allowed.

The group also proposed that a 29-member panel be established, appointed by state governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, chancellors of the University of California and other officials, to distribute the funds in the form of grants. To qualify for the November ballot, CSCRC had to obtain the signatures of 600,000 Californians by 16 April, but the petition far exceeded this number: over one million voters had signed by that date when supporters of the proposal submitted the petition to Kevin Shelley, the Californian Secretary of State.

Shelley certified the proposal last week and it will now be considered in the November ballot. If the bill - seen as a counter to the restrictive ES cell policies of the Bush administration - succeeds in November, California will be the first US state to publicly fund ES cell research.

Calif. Fronts Stem Cell Debate
CBS News |  3 June 2004
California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative Qualifies for November Statewide Ballot
Yahoo Daily News |  3 June 2004
Long road ahead for stem cell initiative
San Francisco Chronicle |  4 June 2004
Stem Cell Initiative Certified for Ballot
LA Times |  4 June 2004
4 November 2004 - by BioNews 
Voters in the US state of California have passed Proposition 71, a bill also known as the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. Fifty-nine per cent of people voted in favour, with 41 per cent voting against the measure, which will establish California as the first state to publicly...
1 November 2004 - by BioNews 
In the final run-up to the US presidential election on 2 November, both candidates have been heavily campaigning, including on the issue of embryonic stem (ES) cell research. Democratic candidate Senator John Kerry promises to abandon the restrictions placed on ES cell research by Bush in 2001. Bush's policy limits...
20 October 2004 - by BioNews 
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican governor of California, has formally endorsed a bill that, if passed, would provide $3 billion of funding for embryonic stem (ES) cell research in the state over the next ten years. The bill, known as proposition 71, or the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative...
4 October 2004 - by BioNews 
Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), the American biotechnology company that was the first to announce it had cloned a human embryo, has announced that it is to set up a laboratory in California, because of the state's support of embryonic stem (ES) cell research. ACT, currently based in Massachusetts, announced that...
3 September 2004 - by BioNews 
Bill Gates, the Microsoft chairman, has boosted a California ballot proposition that would provide $3 billion in funding for embryonic stem (ES) cell research within the state, by donating $400,000 in support of a 'yes' vote. The bill, known as proposition 71, will be voted on in state elections on...
26 April 2004 - by BioNews 
Over one million citizens of California have signed a petition supporting a three billion dollar bond to have a bill promoting embryonic stem (ES) cell research included in the November ballot. When the campaign to gain support for the measure began, in February, only 600,000 supporting signatures were required by...
11 February 2004 - by BioNews 
A campaign has begun in the US state of California to include a bill in the November ballot to facilitate funding for embryonic stem (ES) cell research by establishing a three billion dollar bond. The bill is seen as a 'counter' to the stem cell policies of President George W...
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