Stem Cell Program Influences Other States
California's $3 billion stem cell program has spurred other states to develop similar tax-funded research efforts, USA Today reports. However, the research could increase the demand for human egg donors, critics say.
The program in California is the "biggest publicly financed effort," but court challenges have prevented the state from awarding grants. The legal challenges could be resolved this spring, according to USA Today (USA Today, 3/16).
Attorneys in the court case challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 71, approved by voters in November 2004, electronically filed written closing arguments March 10, and were to submit reply briefs by Wednesday.
Plaintiffs' allege that the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine results in a private entity that controls state funds, which violates the state constitution. According to the state, testimony by CIRM leaders in the trial showed that the institute operates under the supervision and control of the state (California Healthline, 3/10).
Expected appeals of the verdict could take more than a year to resolve (California Healthline, 3/8).
Meanwhile, Illinois and New Jersey are among the leading spenders for stem cell programs. State officials hope the research will generate new treatments for diseases and create high-paying jobs (USA Today, 3/16).