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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Florida's HB 1065 must be defeated

The Florida bill, HB 1065 “Hope Act” is a way to permanently ban state funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Floridians for Cure
spokesperson, Brian Welsh, gives the political background of this bill:

· There is legislation (HB 1065) moving through the Florida Legislature right now to put a ban on the use of state funds for embryonic stem cell research.

· This legislation is expected to be taken up by the Florida House this week where passage is expected. From there it is headed to the Florida Senate where passage is likely, though not certain.

· Governor Charlie Crist, while supporting the use of public funds for embryonic stem cell research during his campaign (see quote memo), IS CONSIDERING REVERSING HIS POSITION and may backing HB 1065.

· This legislation will seriously hinder these efforts to expand the work being done in California to satellite facilities in Florida being developed by Scripps and others.

· The people of Florida overwhelmingly support the use of public funds for the development of cures through the state’s biomedical research facilities

· Last year, Governor Crist handily defeated his primary opponent, Tom Gallagher, who campaigned as a staunch social conservative in opposition to public funding for embryonic stem cell research. The result of the September 2006 primary was 65% for Crist to 35% for Gallagher.

· However, fearing a collateral attack from social conservatives, Governor Crist has capitulated on this issue to date. He calls HB 1065 a first step. Meanwhile, as it stands, this bill has been stripped of its appropriation and on its current path will serve only as a vessel for banning funds for embryonic stem cell research.

· With no public funds behind it for other types of stem cell research and a ban on public funds for embryonic, HB 1065 presents a crisis for the investment of Scripps and other institutes that are trying to expand into Florida.

· We need you to help us stop this attempt by urging Governor Crist to stop this bill in the Senate before it ever reaches his desk.

· By waiting for this bill to come to his desk, Governor Crist is setting the stage for a veto fight on the issue that will have negative effects for all involved.

· As pro-cures advocates with an interest in the development of the biomedical sciences in Florida we are asking you to help us educate and inform Governor Crist as to the danger of this legislation to both the discovery of cures and the development of California based biomedical research institutions.


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