Measure To Fund Stem Cell Research Would Give California Largest State Scientific Research Program
California would have "by far the largest" state-run scientific research program in the United States if voters approve 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 New York Times reports (Broder/Pollack, New York Times, 9/20). 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, 9/17).
If approved, Proposition 71 would make the state "a global center of stem cell research, on par with Singapore, Israel, South Korea and the United Kingdom," according to the Times.
Robert Klein, a Palo Alto real estate developer who is leading the campaign in favor of Proposition 71, said that California has "more than 50% of the biotech capacity in the United States and more than most other countries." He added, "We can run a substitute national program."
Wayne Johnson, a consultant coordinating the campaign opposing the measure, said, "I'd say we were David going up against Goliath, but David had five smooth stones and we don't have that yet" (Broder/Pollack, New York Times, 9/20).
Additional information on Proposition 71 is available online.