Monday, June 22, 2020

Qualified: California Voters Will Choose in November Whether the State's Stem Cell Agency Lives or Dies

A $5.5 billion stem cell bond measure this afternoon qualified for California's November ballot, where its backers hope that voters will approve it and rescue the state stem cell agency from financial extinction. 

State election officials released a simple statement declaring that the initiative would be presented to the state's 20 million voters, as expected. The measure gathered 716,964 valid signatures of registered voters, according to the count by local officials. The campaign had submitted 924,216 .

The proposal would refinance the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), as the agency is formally known. It is running out of the $3 billion that voters provided for it in 2004. The agency will begin to close its doors next fall without additional funding. 

"A $5.5 billion stem cell bond measure qualified this afternoon for the November ballot, but the campaign to win voter approval is facing an array of hurdles that its supporters never envisioned last summer when they were formulating the initiative.

"Call it the COVID-19 crunch."....

Editor's note: Fresh material has been added to this item since it was originally posted shortly before 4 p.m PDT today. 

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