Back in 2004, the George W. Bush administration severely restricted federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, citing “moral” concerns. So California voters responded by passing Prop 71 to create the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and borrow $3 billion to fund research.
Sixteen years later, another science-unfriendly federal administration is bringing back stem cell research restrictions and re-allocating R&D funding from health to the military. But after yielding new treatments for blood cancer, finding success in curing babies of a fatal disease, restoring blindness caused by a genetic disease, and restoring movement after paralysis, CIRM is nearly out of money. Prop 14 would borrow another $5.5 billion to continue CIRM’s work.
California’s investment in stem cell research has already generated over $4 billion in investment and over $10 billion in economic activity in California. It has led to the creation of over $600 million in state and local tax revenue as well as over 55,000 of high paying jobs, new research institutions, and new businesses. Unlike most federal research grants, CIRM provides funds to ensure that promising therapies make it through the so-called “valley of death” where expensive animal and clinical trials are needed to validate a therapy’s effectiveness and safety.
Passing Prop 14 will further cement California’s leadership in stem cell research, its commitment to public health, science, and innovation, and provide tangible, sustainable economic and health benefits to Californians. We recommend you vote yes.