Stem Cell Institute Spending Plan Discussed
California Institute of Regenerative Medicine President Zach Hall on Thursday outlined how he will develop the agency's strategic plan for spending $3 billion in Proposition 71 funds, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Voters approved Proposition 71 in November 2004 to fund stem cell research.
Hall said he expects the development of the plan to take at least six months. He plans to hold public meetings, hear opinions of scientists and hold meetings with philanthropic groups familiar with similar spending plans to develop a draft plan.
At a meeting of the Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee on Thursday, members authorized Hall to begin negotiating a contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers, a consulting firm that will help hold public meetings and meetings between financial, philanthropic, scientific and academic experts to discuss how Proposition 71 funds should be spent.
Hall said the cost of the public meetings, including advertising, could amount to $100,000. CIRM can spend up to $500,000 to hold the meetings.
Some ICOC board members and taxpayer advocates criticized the agency for allowing Hall to develop the plan, saying the public should have a greater role in developing the plan.
Also on Thursday, CIRM accepted $500,000 in donations (Somers, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/7).