Stem Cell Agency Ruling Finalized
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Bonnie Sabraw on Monday finalized an April 21 ruling that Proposition 71 does not violate the state Constitution, the San Francisco Examiner reports. Lawsuits challenging the proposition, which voters approved in 2004 to fund stem cell research, prevented funds from being distributed (Martin, San Francisco Examiner, 5/2).
In the ruling Sabraw wrote, "Plaintiffs did not present any evidence that the state is appropriating funds for any purpose or benefit other than a public purpose." She also wrote that the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee "are operating in the same fashion as other state agencies."
A plaintiffs' attorney has said an appeal is likely (California Healthline, 4/24).
Also on Monday, CIRM's Strategic Planning Advisory Committee began discussing plans for awarding stem cell research grants. Under Proposition 71, the committee must develop a process for distributing $300 million annually for 10 years for research.
Members of the public and stem cell experts spoke at Monday's meeting, and the committee, comprising CIRM officials and other experts, will hold regular public meetings on the development of grant distribution guidelines.
The committee currently is gathering information. ICOC in October will review draft guidelines (San Francisco Examiner, 5/2).
Because of the "potential" of stem cell research, ICOC "should require its advisers to publicly disclose their outside income," a Bee editorial states, adding, "Anything less will leave lingering doubts about this freshly certified public agency" (Sacramento Bee, 4/29).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.