Thursday, September 10, 2020

Fourth California Newspaper Opposes $5.5 Billion Stem Cell Proposal

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat yesterday editorialized against Proposition 14, the $5.5 billion measure to save the California stem cell agency from financial extinction. 

The headline on the editorial said:

"No on 14: It’s time for stem cell agency to stand on its own"

Including the Press Democrat, four California newspapers have now opposed the measure. One is for it. 

The newspaper said it does not oppose stem cell research per se.
"Our objection (in 2004 to the measure that created the agency) was to ballot-box budgeting. That’s an even more acute concern today, with millions of Californians out of work and the state struggling to fulfill its most basic obligations in the face of historic budget deficits caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"Is stem-cell research more important than education? Transportation? Safety net programs?

"There isn’t an easy answer, and that’s the problem with budgeting by ballot initiative. Voters must say 'yes' or 'no' without an opportunity to weigh the relative value of competing priorities, with no ability to adjust to unexpected situations such as the pandemic and, in the case of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, limited legislative oversight for a quasi-public agency that has been the subject of conflict-of-interest concerns."
The editorial continued,
"After 16 years, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is well established, and its successes should allow it to secure other sources of funding, including federal funding as the Bush-era restrictions have been lifted. The state, meanwhile, is struggling to balance its books, and it wouldn’t be wise to take on more debt at this time. The Press Democrat recommends a no vote on Proposition 14."

Read the California Stem Cell Report regularly for the latest and most in-depth coverage of the effort to save the California stem cell agency from financial extinction.  

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