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Thursday, August 2, 2007

New Jersey Governor on Stem Cell Research

New Jersey: Gov. Jon Corzine (D) signed a bill that authorizes a Nov. 6 referendum asking voters to approve borrowing $450 million over 10 years to fund stem cell research in the state, the Newark Star-Ledger reports (Margolin, Newark Star-Ledger, 7/27).

The Assembly in June voted 50-27 and the Senate 31-3 to approve the legislation. If approved by voters, the funds would be used to award grants to institutions -- including colleges, universities, and state and local government agencies -- that conduct research on both adult and embryonic stem cells and umbilical cord blood, according to Rep. Neil Cohen (D).

Corzine last year signed a measure into law that authorizes $270 million in state funds for the expansion of embryonic stem cell research and facilities in the state (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 7/27).

Borrowing for stem cell research could increase the state's debt by as much as $37 million annually, according to a nonpartisan legislative analysis (Hester, AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/26). "This is an investment that has a very clear payback," Corzine said at a signing ceremony at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, N.J. New Jersey Right to Life could decide to challenge the referendum if it determines the ballot language to be misleading. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found 49% of state voters supported the referendum and 39% opposed it (Gold, AP/Philadelphia Daily News, 7/26).

From Kaiser Network

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