Illinois Gov Blagojevich Directs $5M to Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 20, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Gov Blagojevich Directs $5M to Embryonic Stem Cell Research Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 20, 2006

Springfield, IL ( — Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich used an executive order on Thursday to direct $5 million in state taxpayer funds to pay for embryonic stem cell research. This is the second time the governor has bypassed objections from the state legislature to fund the unproven research.

Blagojevich said he issued the order because he’s upset the legislature has voted against funding the destructive research and that President Bush vetoed a Congressional bill Wednesday that would have spent federal funds on it.

He indicated embryonic stem cell research would get additional funds "as long as he occupies the White House."

"That’s why I am directing $5 million in state funds this fiscal year to continue supporting the research being done," the governor said in a statement obtained by

The money comes from a discretionary administrative line in the Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ budget.

The governor’s office indicated that grant recipients will be selected from those who did not receive funds in the last allocation of grant money issued by the Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute.

Blagojevich previously came under fire for diverting $10 million in state funds to embryonic stem cell research programs.

The state legislature previously voted against using tax dollars on embryonic stem cell research because it destroys human life and isn’t anywhere close to helping patients like adult stem cells have.

Knowing that, Blagojevich waited until lawmakers approved a state budget with money earmarked for unspecified "scientific research" before announcing his intent for it.

In April, an Illinois judge has ruled that he wouldn’t block the executive order. Cook County Judge James Henry said whether Blagojevich exceeded his constitutional authority was a matter for voters or the state legislature to decide.

Related web sites:
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich –