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Californian republicans vote against stem cell research

9 August 2004
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 270

The Californian Republican Party has voted at its annual convention to oppose a bill that would provide the state with $3 billion dollars for embryonic stem cell (ES cell) research. The California Research and Cures Initiative, which began in February, is backed by the group Californians for Stem Cell Research and Cures (CSCRC).

The campaign group wants 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 ES cells for regenerative therapies, but specifies that cloning for reproductive purposes is not to be allowed. CSCRC 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.

The bond proposal, known as proposition 71, qualified in June for the 2 November ballot. In order to do so, 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. Supporters of the proposal then submitted the petition to Kevin Shelley, the Californian Secretary of State, who authorised it for ballot. If the proposal succeeds, California would be the first state in the US to publicly fund ES cell research.

The Republicans claim to oppose proposition 71 'largely as a budget issue', claiming that the true cost of the measure would be double the $3 billion estimated because of interest that would have to be paid. Mike Spence, chair of the Republican's initiative committee, said 'there are people on our committee who support embryonic stem cell research that voted to oppose proposition 71', adding 'there's billions in bonds, a new state agency that's unaccountable... and there's cloning involved'. Arnold Schwarzenegger, California's governor, is said to be 'in a tight political spot' as to whether to support or oppose the measure, as he risks offending voters whichever way he goes. However, in the past he has said publicly that he endorses ES cell research.

Calif. GOP Opposes Stem Cell Proposition |  8 August 2004
California Republican Party Votes to Oppose State Embryonic Stem Cell Initiative
Kaiser Network |  9 August 2004
GOP Takes Stand on State Initiative
LA Times |  9 August 2004
Stem cell campaign raises $7 million
Mercury News |  31 July 2004
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...
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...
16 August 2004 - by BioNews 
Voters in California are said to be 'evenly divided' over a bill that would provide the state with $3 billion of funding for human embryonic stem (ES) cell research. Known as Proposition 71, or the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, the bill will be part of the 2...
7 June 2004 - by BioNews 
A bond proposal organised by the group Californians for Stem Cell Research and Cures (CSCRC) in order to facilitate state funding for embryonic stem (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...
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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