Illinois Gov. Blagojevich Wants $100 Million for Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 15, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Gov. Blagojevich Wants $100 Million for Embryonic Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 15, 2006

Springfield, IL ( — In his state budget released Wednesday, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich wants to take $100 million in funds earmarked for health care and divert them to pay for embryonic stem cell research. The move is drawing opposition from pro-life groups and some lawmakers.

In his budget plan, Blagojevich proposes spending $15 million for the controversial research in the next year and increasing that amount annually by $2.5 million each of the next five years.

The money for the unproven research would come from the state’s share of the tobacco lawsuit settlement funds, which are supposed to be used to pay for health care costs.

The money would also come from closing some tax breaks that benefit businesses.

Blagojevich came under fire last year for circumventing the state legislature and diverting $10 million in funds for the disputed research even after lawmakers voted against using taxpayer funds for it.

Blagojevich budget director John Filan told the Associated Press the state has spent $4-6 million of that money so far.

Pro-life groups oppose embryonic stem cell research because the cells can only be obtained by destroying unborn children in their earliest days. They favor the use of adult stem cells, which have already yielded cures and treatments for dozes of diseases and conditions.

TAKE ACTION: Send your thoughts on the proposal to Gov. Blagojevich at