Wednesday, July 23, 2008

CIRM Mulls Kuehl Legislation Once Again, Supplier Proposal Also on Table

A directors subcommittee of the California stem cell agency will discuss on Thursday their opposition to legislation aimed at ensuring affordable access to state-financed stem cell therapies.

The bill is only two steps away from being sent to the governor's desk. No lawmaker has voted against the measure, SB 1565 by state Sens. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, and George Runner, R-Antelope Valley. It is now on the the Assembly floor. If it wins approval as expected, it will go to the Senate for concurrence in Assembly amendments and then to the governor.

has officially opposed the measure, and it is not clear what its Legislative Subcommittee might do at the Thursday afternoon meeting, short of renewing the agency's opposition. Interested parties can participate or listen in on the meeting at public teleconference locations throughout the state, including San Francisco, Elk Grove, Irvine, Healdsburg, Sacramento and Palo Alto.

The meeting comes as BioRegion News is carrying a lengthy look at the bill, its support and opposition. Written by Alex Philippidis, the piece quotes Kuehl as saying regarding CIRM,
"They don’t intend to remove their opposition. They simply want more, and more, and more amendments, because they want the bill to go away. But the bill is not going away."
Also up for discussion at the Thursday meeting is the California supplier bill, AB 2381 by Assemblyman Gene Mullin, D-San Mateo. That bill would define California supplier for the purposes of providing a preference to such businesses as required by Prop. 71.

Currently the bill is in the Senate Appropriations Committee and is scheduled for a hearing Aug. 4. CIRM is also proceeding with its own regulatory definition of California supplier. The legislation has been the subject of considerable negotiation. Movement by CIRM may well come at the Thursday meeting. Here is a link to the latest amended version of the bill, although it may not reflect more current drafts that are not available on the Internet.

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