Thursday, September 06, 2007

Whoopee! CIRM To Dive Into The Dough

Those of you of a certain age may remember the Scrooge McDuck comic books of the 1950s. He was the gazallionaire uncle of Donald Duck. The richest duck in the world, old Scrooge was fond of diving into the mounds of loose money in his vault and throwing the stuff into the air.

Come Sept. 27, California stem cell Chairman Robert Klein and company will finally be able to do that -- sort of – after the state sells $250 million in state bonds to finance the grants and operations of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

According to Reuters
, State Treasurer Bill Lockyer this week set the date for the sale, nearly three years after voters approved Prop. 71, which created CIRM and authorized $3 billion in bond financing. Lawsuits made the state unable to sell the bonds. After that was cleared up in May, state budget issues delayed them further.

Since 2004, CIRM has made to do with loans from the state and private philanthropists. All of those will have to be repaid, but it is unclear whether the bond money will go to that first or directly to grant recipients.

Interestingly, Reuters said the stem cell bonds will be taxable, which means that they will require a higher interest rate than the non-taxable bonds, costing the state more.

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