Saturday, October 01, 2005

Otis Aims at Stem Cell Report; Governor Nixes SB18

Hurricane Otis is taking a run at the California Stem Cell Report. As of this posting, it should brush by us down here in Romantic Old Mexico near Guaymas. But preparations for all possibilities are distracting us from postings.

However, we can tell you that the governor vetoed a measure to tighten oversight of the California stem cell agency. Reporter Carl Hall of the San Francisco Chronicle looks like he may be the only writer this morning to cover the veto.

The measure by Sen. Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento, would have added performance audit requirement and egg-donor protections to the California stem cell program.

Hall wrote, "In a veto message, the governor said he supported the main provisions of the bill but found it to be "in direct conflict" with a provision in Prop. 71 barring amendments until 2008."

"Ortiz issued a news release Friday decrying the veto, arguing that the bill
was 'carefully drafted' to avoid conflict with Prop. 71. She said that
'patient protections and appropriate public accountability must be included to
maintain the public's confidence' in the stem cell effort. Zach Hall, the institute's president, said during an interview Friday that the
institute never took a formal position on the bill. Officials already are
working through details of egg-donor protections, he said, and support the
need for routine audits.

"'We have always assumed we would be audited, and we want to be," Hall said.
'Exactly how it happens is not a major issue for us. It can be by whatever
mechanism the Legislature feels is appropriate.'"

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