California takes the lead on stem cell research

A new ballot measure in California calls for the state to spend almost $3 billion dollars in stem cell research over the next ten years—particularly the kind of research that cannot receive federal funding because of Bush’s current policy. Go California; you guys aren’t screwing around! This kind of cash is pretty much what is being spent now by the federal government on embryonic stem cell research.
According to the NY Times, the ballot measure—Proposition 71—“would expand embryonic stem cell research far beyond the 20 or so cell lines that can be studied with federal support under the Bush policy, thus allowing the fuller range of research that most scientists deem important.”
What’s even better news is that Proposition 71 is likely to pass in November. A survey by the LA Times showed that after reading the proposal, the majority of voters supported the measure; 54 percent of voters in CA said they were inclined to vote for it.
The NY Times asks an interesting question, however: whether the nice folks in CA want to pay for advances in science that will benefit not just their state, but the whole of the country. That’s a mighty big burden to take on—one they wouldn’t have to shoulder alone if Bush would start supporting science that could save lives instead of pushing regressive policies. Just another reason to vote

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