New York Lawmakers Want State to Fund Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 21, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New York Lawmakers Want State to Fund Embryonic Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 21, 2004

Albany, NY ( — Not content to allow a handful of states across the country dominate the stem cell research playing field, lawmakers in New York want Governor George Pataki to help them launch a statewide referendum to allow the sale of state bonds to fund the controversial research.

Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano recently wrote a letter to Pataki and state legislators saying that the bonds “will ensure that New York continues to be in the forefront of medical research, finding cures for the worst diseases afflicting our population."

Spano told the Mid-Hudson News he is hopeful it can be put on the 2005 ballot.

If passed by the voters, Spano’s plan would allow New York to turn the proceeds from the bonds into grants to scientists and research universities.

Spano told Mid-Hudson News that the sale of the bonds is necessary because President Bush’s limits of funding for embryonic stem cell research are too strict.

"Since the president is not doing it, we have to step up to the plate," Spano said. "It’s up to the states to fund this important medical advance."

In August 2001, the president put in place an executive order prohibiting taxpayer funding for any newly conducted embryonic stem cell research because it involves the destruction of human life.

Instead, Bush has authorized more than $190 million in funding for research employing adult stem cells. Such research has already developed dozens of treatments for dozens of diseases and ailments.

Last week, Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell said her state should spend $10-15 million dollars of this year’s state budget surplus towards the controversial research.

Lawmakers in Wisconsin, Illinois, and New Jersey are proposing lavish spending on the unproven research and other states are sure to follow.

In November, California voters approved a state referendum authorizing spending $6 billion in taxpayer money on embryonic stem cell research and human cloning.