by Steven Ertelt
July 20, 2006
Sacramento, CA (LifeNews.com) — One day after President Bush vetoed a bill that would have spent more money on unproven embryonic stem cell research, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger authorized $150 million in taxpayer funds for a loan to the state’s stem cell research agency.
The agency, which will fund human cloning and the destructive research has been strapped for cash because it is the subject of two lawsuits accusing it of violating several state laws.
"I remain committed to advancing stem cell research in California, in the promise it holds for millions of our citizens who suffer from chronic diseases and injuries that could be helped as a result of stem cell research," Schwarzenegger said in a letter.
Schwarzenegger has come under fire from bioethics observers before.
He previously vetoed a measure, SB 18, which was intended to protect women who donate their eggs for research from being exploited.
Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill because it also contained a section requiring an audit of the Prop. 71 committee. Schwarzenegger said the requirement violated provisions in the proposition that voters approved mandating that no changes be made to the program in the first three years.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has been criticized even from those who back embryonic stem cell research because of violations of state open meetings and conflict of interests laws.
Last month, lawyers for the committee asked an appeals court to speed up the resolution of two lawsuits filed against it. The lawsuits have prevented the committee from making the extensive grants they hoped to dole out for research projects.
Filed by the pro-life California Family Bioethics Council and the People’s Advocate and National Tax Limitation Foundation, two taxpayers groups, the lawsuits charge the committee with violating state laws.
They say the committee has not properly submitted itself to state oversight because it’s handing out state funds.
In April, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Bonnie Sabraw sided with the committee and rejected the lawsuits. The groups appealed the decision to the 1st District Court of Appeals in San Francisco and their attorneys say they will go to the California Supreme Court if necessary.
Robert Klein, the institute’s chairman who has come under fire recently for using his position to endorse a candidate in a competitive primary, said he thinks the court will side with the request to expedite.
Related web sites:
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – https://gov.ca.gov