Thursday, April 23, 2009

State Bond Sale Provides $505 Million for CIRM

The California stem cell agency, once on its way to running out of money by next fall, is now slated to receive $505 million as the result of the sale this week of $6.86 billion in state bonds.

Robert Feyer of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, bond counsel to the state treasurer, told the California Stem Cell Report,
"I can confirm for your readers that the large state bond issue which was priced today (total of $6.855 billion) includes $505 million for the stem cell program. This money will be available next Tuesday, when the transaction closes."
CIRM Chairman Robert Klein is likely to discuss the impact of the funding at next week's board of directors meeting in Los Angeles. Feyer said that a "good portion" of the bond cash is expected to go for facilities grants. It is not clear whether CIRM will give up its plan to market state bonds privately.

CIRM relies almost totally on state bond funding. The measure that created the agency, Prop. 71, specified the nature of the funding so that CIRM did not have to ask the legislature and the governor for cash. Because of its budget crisis, California, until recently, had not sold any bonds since last June.

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