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Debating Prop 14: Should The State Borrow Money For Stem Cell Research?




Embryologist Ric Ross examines a dish with human embryos under a microscope at the La Jolla IVF Clinic in La Jolla, California. The clinic accepts donated embryos from around the country through The Stem Cell resource which are then given to stem cell research labs for research.
Embryologist Ric Ross examines a dish with human embryos under a microscope at the La Jolla IVF Clinic in La Jolla, California. The clinic accepts donated embryos from around the country through The Stem Cell resource which are then given to stem cell research labs for research.
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

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Sixteen years ago, Californians allowed the state to borrow $3 billion to fund a stem cell research program, which has since supplied money to various projects and trials, many conducted through the University of California. 

Now, the pot of money is almost empty and voters will decide on whether they want to approve $5.5 billion in government bonds for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. 

Prop 14 also establishes some rules for how the money would be spent, including a directive to better patient access. 

Supporters think that it’s important for scientific work to continue in this area of research. Detractors say the Institute doesn’t have enough oversight and that the money would be better spent on California’s immediate needs, such as housing and social programs. 

We hear from both sides.

Guests:

David Higgins, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) board member; he’s a Parkinson’s patient and patient advocate

Jeff Sheehy, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) board member; patient advocate for those with HIV/AIDS; he is the only CIRM board member opposed to Prop 14