Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Money for CIRM, But It Still Needs More

The California stem cell agency today received some good financial news from the folks at an obscure state entity called the Pooled Money Investment Board.

The board, which operates out of the state treasurer's office, renewed a $295 million loan to CIRM and approved $43 million in additional funds from the board, according to Tom Dresslar, spokesman for Treasurer Bill Lockyer.

One unconfirmed report had it that the $43 million was destined for stem cell lab construction in the San Diego area involving the Sanford consortium (UC San Diego, Salk, Scripps and Burnham).

We queried CIRM on the matter, and spokesman Don Gibbons said the money would improve the agency's cash flow. Later Gibbons explicitly said the money would go to the Sanford project.

If the board had not renewed the loan, it would have weakened CIRM financially. But CIRM remains in dire straits unless it gets significant help from the upcoming state taxable bond sale.

The Pooled Money board manages state cash flow and provides interim financing for state and local projects while they await bond proceeds.

(An earlier version of this item said that Gibbons would not confirm that the money would go to San Diego. Later in the day, he said it would.)

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