Editorials Address Ballot Measure To Fund Stem Cell Research
Three newspapers recently published editorials addressing Proposition 71, a measure on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot that would issue state bonds to raise an average of $295 million annually over 10 years to promote stem cell research. The measure would provide funds for a new stem cell research center at a University of California campus, as well as grants and loans for laboratory projects at other colleges. State analysts have said that with interest, the measure would cost a total of $6 billion (California Healthline, 9/20). Summaries appear below.
New York Times: Proposition 71 "would have California pick up the leadership role that President Bush has abdicated" on stem cell research, a Times editorial states. "The question is whether Californians want to pay for medical advances that will benefit not just themselves but everyone else," the editorial states, concluding, "Our hope is that they will think expansively and help keep the United States competitive in this potentially crucial field of research" (New York Times, 9/23).
Sacramento Bee: Proposition 71 is the "wrong way" to fund stem cell research in California, a Bee editorial states, adding that proponents of the measure should "have to compete for scarce borrowing resources like everyone else" and seek funding for a stem cell research center through the Five-Year Infrastructure Plan "proposed by the governor and approved by the Legislature." According to the editorial, such a research center "would be a fine complement to the state's bold 2000 plan," which resulted in the creation of the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research, the California Nanosystems Institute, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society. The editorial recommends that supporters of the measure use "the normal funding process" and that California residents vote "no" on Proposition 71 (Sacramento Bee, 9/22).
- San Diego Union-Tribune: A Union-Tribune editorial states that "even though we support the aims" of Proposition 71, "we cannot ignore the fiscal realities that make it unwise for voters to approve" the measure "at this time." The editorial recommends that state residents vote "no" on Proposition 71, as well as Proposition 61 -- a bond measure on the statewide Nov. 2 ballot that would provide $750 million for construction, expansion and equipment for children's hospitals (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/23).