New Jersey Lawmaker Pushes Embryonic Stem Cell Research Funding

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 5, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Jersey Lawmaker Pushes Embryonic Stem Cell Research Funding Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 5, 2006

Trenton, NJ ( — Senate President Richard Codey is pushing his latest proposal to use taxpayer funds to pay for unproven embryonic stem cell research. The move is the first attempt to promote using public funds for the controversial research after the state Assembly defeated a different proposal at the end of the last legislative session.

On Monday, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee will consider Codey’s package of spending $200 million for two new stem cell research centers in the state.

The money would build stem cell research centers at Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

The money for the project would come from state bonds that are not currently being used, but, with New Jersey’s difficult economic situation, lawmakers are hesitant to add to the state’s debt.

While he was serving as acting governor, Codey pushed a $500 million package through the state Senate but could not come up with enough votes in the House.

However, Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts backs Codey’s latest proposal and told AP lawmakers there "look forward to advancing stem cell research legislation.”

The state’s new governor, pro-abortion Democrat Jon Corzine, backs the embryonic stem cell research bill but pro-life groups oppose it because they don’t want taxpayer funds to be used to pay for research that destroys human life. They favor adult stem cells, which have already produced dozens of treatments for various conditions.

Embryonic stem cell research has yet to cure any patients and has problems with patients’ immune systems rejecting the cells.