CIRM Accumulating Legal Bills Before Research Is Started
The California Institute of Regenerative Medicine has not distributed Proposition 71 funds for stem cell research but has accumulated hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. State voters approved Proposition 71 in November 2004 to fund stem cell research.
Of the $772,000 CIRM earmarked for paying its law firm through June 2006, CIRM has spent about 25% on lawyers defending the constitutionality of the measure, according to CIRM President Zach Hall.
In addition, the institute owes the state attorney general's office $240,000 for legal services, including defending it in court challenges.
The Union-Tribune reports that the "legal challenges aren't expected to end any time soon," adding that CIRM cannot obtain bond money for research while the measure's legality is being challenged (Somers, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/8).
Superior Court Judge Bonnie Sabraw should consider the constitutionality of Proposition 71 "expeditiously but thoroughly" so "California can get on with the job of funding stem cell research or adopting a program that has stronger legal underpinnings," a Modesto Bee editorial states (Modesto Bee, 12/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.