Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Vote Count on $5.5 Billion Stem Cell Measure Nearing its Official End

With no votes left uncounted, the ballot initiative that saved the financial life of California's now $12 billion stem cell program has topped out at 51.1 percent approval compared to 48.9 against. 

The count reflects the most recent state election figures from late Friday. None of California's 58 counties is reporting that it has ballots yet to count. 

The raw numbers are 8,588,156 for Proposition 14 and 8,221,692 against. The measure provides $5.5 billion that the state will borrow over the next decade to fund the operations of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). 

Official certification of the election results is required by Friday.

CIRM was created by another ballot initiative in 2004 with $3 billion in state bonds. That money has nearly run out, and the agency was set to close its doors beginning this month. However, the passage of Proposition 14 saved CIRM. 

The measure provides no additional funding beyond the $5.5 billion. It will run out in 11 or so years, unless the agency slows its expected rate of spending. Because the money is borrowed, interest adds to the cost of the research and to the cost to taxpayers, bringing the estimated total expense to $12 billion. 


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