Schwarzenegger Questions Ballot Measure To Fund Stem Cell Research
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Tuesday "voiced skepticism" about, but declined to take a position on, Proposition 71, a bond measure scheduled to appear on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot that would provide funds for stem cell research, the Los Angeles Times reports (Nicholas, Los Angeles Times, 8/11). The measure would raise an average of $295 million annually for 10 years to promote stem cell research through the issuance of state bonds. 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 (California Healthline, 8/5).
In an interview after a conference of U.S. and Mexican governors in Santa Fe, N.M., Schwarzenegger said that he supports stem cell research but has concerns about the effect the measure would have on the state's credit rating (Los Angeles Times, 8/11). Schwarzenegger said, "I think there's a lot of things there that can save a lot of lives and help a lot of people" (Talev, Sacramento Bee, 8/11). He said, "We are bonded out," adding, "We are at the limit of bonds. And therefore we should be responsible. ... We always have to look at the bigger picture here. Is this the best way of going?" (Los Angeles Times, 8/11). State analysts estimate that the measure would cost a total of $6 billion with interest (California Healthline, 8/5).
In the same interview, Schwarzenegger said that he expected the California Performance Review to result in substantial reforms to the state government, the Times reports (Los Angeles Times, 8/11). The 2,500-page report, released last week, proposes the elimination or consolidation of more than 100 California boards and commissions, as well as revision to state business practices, to save the state $32 billion over five years. The report proposes to save the state almost $5 billion over five years through revisions to the Health and Human Services Agency (California Healthline, 8/10). Schwarzenegger declined to take a position on the proposals in the report (Los Angeles Times, 8/11).
Meanwhile, 74% percent of registered voters said that they support some of the recommendations in the report because the state government "is in need of a major overhaul," according to a recent Field Poll, the Sacramento Bee reports. The survey, based on telephone interviews with 608 registered voters between Aug. 3 and Aug. 8, also found that 53% of respondents said a reduction in the number of state agencies would not affect the quality of state programs and services (Delsohn, Sacramento Bee, 8/11). The Field Poll is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader view the survey.