Maryland House Approves Stem Cell Research Bill, Governor Ehrlich Will Sign

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 30, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Maryland House Approves Stem Cell Research Bill, Governor Ehrlich Will Sign

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 30, 2006

Annapolis, MD ( — The Maryland state House approved a watered down stem cell research bill that promotes embryonic stem cell research to a lesser extent than it did before but too much for some lawmakers. Gov. Bob Ehrlich, a Republican, intends to sign the bill.

The measure authorizes the state to spend $15 million on stem cell research and leaves the decision on adult versus embryonic stem cells up to a combined government-business panel.

The bill originally said the money had to be distributed first to embryonic stem cell research projects. It also did not include for any religious members to be included on the panel determining where the money would go.

Those provisions have been removed but the fact that some money will still pay for research involving the destruction of human life caused most of the chamber’s Republican to oppose it. The House approved the bill 90-48.

"Clearly it will be weighted to make sure more funding goes to embryonic stem cell research," said Del. Anthony O’Donnell, a Republican, told The Capital newspaper.

Despite the objections, the Frederick News Post newspaper says Ehrlich told a press conference he will sign the bill.

"Obviously we are pleased with the events of today with stem cells," Ehrlich said.

"It’s not a perfect bill," he admitted but said "The dollars will follow the (recommendations of) the scientists. The dollars will not follow the politicians."

The Maryland Technology Development Corporation, a government-business joint venture, will determine how the funds would be spent. Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland are expected to receive much of the funds.

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