Tuesday, June 26, 2007

CIRM Legislation Finished for 2007

Legislation to ensure a fair return to the state on its $6 billion stem cell research investment and to provide affordable access to any resultant therapies has been shelved for at least the remainder of the year.

A spokesman for Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, lead author on SB771, said the measure was put off to allow the stem cell agency to finish its regulations for intellectual property, the vehicle for determining how to split up potential largess from stem call products.

The spokesman, Peter Hansel, said that if the regulations "come up short," the authors of the bill intend to push it in 2008. Sen. George Runner of Antelope Valley, one of the legislature's Republican leaders, is also an author of the bill.

Hansel said,
"In the near term, the bill is going to be used to used for another unrelated purpose, but the authors intend to amend its provisions into another Senate bill in the Assembly once we identify a vehicle that is not moving. This should be viewed as a temporary move and not as any diminishment of the authors' underlying commitment to the issue."
The bill was opposed by CIRM and the California biotech industry. It easily passed the Senate. But to become law it needs a super, supermajority vote (70 percent) as well in the Assembly and the signature of the governor, who is a strong supporter of CIRM.

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