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US stem cell news

2 May 2006
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 356

The Senate Health Care Committee in the US state of Florida voted 7-1 last week in favour of a bill that would provide state funding for embryonic stem cell (ES cell)research. Senate Bill 468, sponsored by Democrat Senator Ron Klein, would provide $15 million of state funds for ES cell research on embryos left over from fertility treatments and donated for research by patients. The bill also sets some ethical limits on the research, by establishing guidelines to monitor and track the donation of ES cells in the state.

The bill needs to be approved by other Senate committees before it can proceed to a full vote, and there is not enough time in the current legislative session to do this - however, in recognition of this, given that preliminary approval has been given, in theory its provisions could be added as amendments to other Senate legislation. However, later in the week, a vote in the Florida Senate did not reach the required two-thirds majority to enable the ES cell bill's provisions to be added to a medical research bill designed to dedicate $30 million to biomedical, cancer and Alzheimer's disease research, following a proposal to do so by Klein, with the vote split only 20-18.

In Wisconsin, State Governor Jim Doyle has signed an executive order allocating $5 million of state funds to a recruitment drive for stem cell researchers. The state's Department of Commerce can now distribute the funds. Signing the order, Doyle said that he hoped it would help to 'turn back these senseless attacks on stem cell research', adding 'as long as I am governor, our state government will do everything it can to promote this research'.

In Missouri, the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures (MCLC), has announced that it has submitted far more than enough petition signatures needed to place the Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative on the November state ballot. MCLC is a group that last November launched a state-wide advertising campaign asking voters to sign petitions to enable it to put the measure on the ballot. The group needed 145,000 signatures on its petitions to do so, and has now submitted almost double that. 'Over the past several months, 288,991 Missouri citizens signed petitions to allow a public vote on this important measure, which is nearly twice as many signatures as required', said Donn Rubin, Chair of the MCLC. The petitions were a response to efforts in the state legislature designed to restrict the research in the state.

However, since the signatures were submitted, Republican state Senator Jim Talent has issued a press statement saying that he will oppose the November ballot measure. 'I personally cannot support the initiative', he said, adding 'I've always been opposed to human cloning and this measure would make cloning human life at the earliest stage a constitutional right'. However, a representative for his opponent, Claire McCaskill, who supports the initiative, said that 'obviously Senator Talent is confused himself, because the initiative strictly prohibits human cloning'.

Governor Doyle Commits $5 Million to Recruit Stem Cell Companies
Office of the Governor press release |  25 April 2006
Senate fails to back stem cell research oversight
Florida News-press |  27 April 2006
Senate panel approves paying for embryonic stem cell research
Bradenton Herald |  25 April 2006
Stem Cell Supporters Submit More Than Enough Signatures to Qualify Stem Cell Initiative for Missouri Ballot
Yahoo Daily News |  1 May 2006
21 August 2006 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey 
Voters in the US state of Missouri will decide in the November ballot whether embryonic stem (ES) cell research should be allowed to take place in the state. The Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative - or Amendment 2 - would amend the state's constitution to allow...
23 July 2006 - by Heidi Nicholl 
By Heidi Nicholl: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger this week authorised a $150 million loan to allow the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to fund initial research grants while litigation proceeds on the disputed bond allocation. Proposition 71 was passed by Californian voters in November 2004 allowing stem cell research...
13 February 2006 - by BioNews 
Michael Steele, the Republican deputy Governor of the US state of Maryland, has clarified his position on human embryonic stem (ES) cell research, after comparing it to the science and medical experimentation used by Nazis during the Holocaust. Steele explained that what he meant to convey was the need to...
28 November 2005 - by BioNews 
Human embryonic stem (ES) cell researchers participating in a state-wide conference in the US state of New Jersey have warned that 'lip service' to the research and the provision of adequate state funds is not good enough, and that researchers could shift to other states that offer better incentives. Both...
21 November 2005 - by BioNews 
The state Senate of Ohio has approved legislation that would limit the use of state funds for 'therapeutic' cloning and human embryonic stem (ES) cell research. It would also prevent people in the state benefiting from therapies developed in other states or countries that had been developed using cloning techniques...
7 November 2005 - by BioNews 
Jim Doyle, the Governor of the US State of Wisconsin, has vetoed legislation (bill 499) passed in the state that would have meant that all forms of human cloning were prohibited. He says that he used his right of veto because the law would mean that some of the 'most...
30 September 2005 - by BioNews 
The Republican controlled Wisconsin state Senate has passed a bill which would ban all forms of human cloning. The State Governor, Jim Doyle, vowed to veto the measure. The day before the bill was successfully introduced, an amendment which would have allowed cloning for research whilst blocking reproductive cloning was...
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