Friday, November 15, 2019

California Stem Cell Agency's Summary of $5.5 Billion Measure to Save its Financial Life

The California stem cell agency late yesterday posted its own summary of a proposed $5.5 billion ballot initiative to keep it from basically going out of business next year.

The summary is about 1 1/2 pages long compared to the 30 pages of the actual initiative, which is the subject of a hearing this morning by the governing board of the agency. 

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), as the agency is formally known, is down to its last $27 million. It came into being in 2004 with $3 billion in state bond financing. 

Also posted on the meeting's agenda is a five-page memo from 2017 discussing what the agency can and cannot do in connection with election activities such as a ballot initiative campaign.  Last month the board was given a seven-page memo about such activities. Both memos confirm that the agency may use public funds to draft its own initiative.

Neither of the memos discuss the pros and cons of the ballot measure sponsored by Robert Klein, who ran the ballot campaign that created the stem cell agency 15 years ago this month.

Here is an updated guide to the key documents and information concerning the initiative.

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