Thursday, January 05, 2006

New Jersey Legislature Puts Brakes on Stem Cell Bills

Memorial of St. John Neumann

It appears that New Jersey's acting governor, Richard Codey, will not meet one of his administration's core objectives. Citing concerns about legal challenges to the distribution of stem cell research grants in California (an ongoing story often tracked by The Troglodyte), the Assembly no longer has plans to consider more than a half-billion dollars of funding approved by the senate for stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cells. A bond bill that would ask voters next November to authorize $350 million for stem cell research grants over seven years and a $230 million capital spending bill with earmarks for Rutgers' New Brunswick campus and the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark are set to expire January 9 with the end of the current legislative session.

This, of course, is not the end, as Governor-elect John Corzine's transition office was quick to highlight his support as he takes office later this month. Barring a change in the next few days, the legislature would have to reintroduce and pass the bond measure by June 30, when the legislature recesses for the summer, to get it on the ballot this year.

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