Schwarzenegger Budget Proposal Would Repeal Law To Establish Stem Cell Research Guidelines
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) budget proposal for fiscal year 2004-2005, which was introduced Friday, calls for the repeal of a law (SB 322) signed by former Gov. Gray Davis (D) last September that requires the state by 2005 to write guidelines for research using human embryonic stem cells, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Establishing the guidelines would cost the state an estimated $250,000. The budget proposal would not affect another law (SB 771), also signed last September, that requires the state to establish a registry of embryos that are available to scientists for stem cell research. Sen. Deborah Oritz (D-Sacramento), who introduced the two bills, said that if the law is repealed, stem cell research "would go forward without the important ethical and legal oversight that these guidelines could provide," the Mercury News reports. The passage of SB 322 and SB 771 "cemented" California's role as the "national hub" for stem cell research, according to the Mercury News. New Jersey and California are the only states that "expressly" allow stem cell research, the Mercury News reports. Hank Greeley of Stanford University's Center for Biomedical Ethics said that "from a budget perspective, it seems like a foolish decision," adding, "It is very shortsighted to stop a program in which California is a leader -- just to save money, that in the context of the overall budget, is less than pocket change" (Krieger, San Jose Mercury News, 1/13).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.