Lawmakers Call for Stem Cell Research Controls

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Democratic Senator Deborah Ortiz and Republican Senator George Runner are presenting legislation to tighten controls on the newly created Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the citizens committee that oversees it. 

Runner says the state must help clarify aspects of Proposition 71.  “While the picture was very brightly painted for voters last November, there are a lot of details we’re very concerned about that need to be clarified.”

The proposed amendment would add strict conflict-of-interest requirements and open meeting rules for board members and Institute employees. 

Both lawmakers say if the amendment is approved, they’ll try to place it on a special election ballot if one is called, as expected, for November.  A statement by the Chair and vice Chair of the Citizens Committee says voters’ approval of the stem cell initiative shows confidence that there is already sufficient accountability in place.