Stem Cell Proponent Seeks Tighter Ethics Rules

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, June 6, 2005

The committee that will direct funding toward stem cell research has already stated its opposition to State Senator Deborah Ortiz’s proposed constitutional amendment.  Ortiz addressed the committee’s meeting in Sacramento Monday. She's pushing for changes she says will prevent conflicts of interest, enhance public confidence and ensure that needy Californians will benefit from future therapies.

But committee member and patient advocate David Serrano Sewell says he’s concerned that if the measure’s approved by the legislature and placed on a ballot, it will derail the organization’s efforts. 

“We’ve got litigation, we’ve got staff to hire, we’ve got so much to deal with of ramping up this organization to contend with something else on the ballot, you know will be a problem.” 
Ortiz is trying to get the measure through the legislature quickly—and place it on a special election ballot that’s expected this fall.