Saturday, May 23, 2020
The $5.5 Billion California Stem Cell Countdown: One-Thirteenth Along the Way
Supporters of a $5.5 billion, proposed ballot initiative this morning are 13.3 percent along the way to qualifying the measure for the November ballot and possibly saving the California stem cell agency from financial extinction.
The proposal now has 82,723 valid or projected valid signatures of registered voters, which state election officials say is the key category. The measure needs 623,212 in signatures in that category to qualify.
The total of "raw," unverified signatures statewide is 924,183. At this point, only 77.57 percent of the signatures are valid. But major counties such Los Angeles and San Diego have not yet completed their validation process.
Twenty-two of the state's 58 counties have reported their counts. The highest number of valid signatures has come from Sacramento with 26,761. The lowest number is from Modoc with four.
The stem cell agency was created by California voters in 2004 when they approved a ballot initiative that also provided it with $3 billion of borrowed money but no other funding. The agency is running out of cash and will begin closing its doors next fall unless more substantial funding is forthcoming.
Look for an update on the count Tuesday evening or early Wednesday right here on the California Stem Cell Report.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this item incorrectly stated that Mono County had the lowest number of valid signatures. It was actually Modoc.