Thursday, July 26, 2012

Short-term Borrowing to Continue to Provide California Stem Cell Cash

The California stem cell agency will continue to be funded with short-term borrowing -- commercial paper -- provided through the state treasurer's office, J.T. Thomas, chairman of the agency's governing board, said today. 

Until late last year, the $3 billion agency was funded through state bond funds, but California Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to reduce the state's long-term debt load, which has skyrocketed in the last decade. 

Thomas told directors this morning that short-term funding comes at "the lowest possible interest rate." He said the arrangement leaves the agency in "very good shape."

The state will provide the funding to CIRM on a month-to-month basis in addition to providing a two month cushion, Thomas said. 

At some point, the short-term debt is likely to covered by state bonds.  As of June 30, CIRM
had $50.9 million on hand, down $42 million from April 30. During the fiscal year ending June 30, the agency paid out $232.7 million compared to $201.4 million in the previous fiscal year. 

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