This November 3rd, California voters are being asked to recharge funding for the state’s stem cell research program with Proposition 14. 16 years ago, Californians approved Proposition 71, creating a new state agency to fund stem cell research, even though President George W. Bush had taken important measures against federal funding for stem cell research. Now, despite the fact that the National Institutes of Health fund stem cell research with $2 billion a year, California tax payers are being asked to approve the sale of $5.5 billion in general obligation bonds to pay for stem cell research.
The stem cell reseach field is now loaded with funding from the federal government, venture capitalists, and philanthropists like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Proponents will have a hard time passing this bill, especially when the state is going through difficult circumstances due to the pandemic and wildfires. The state’s largest newspapers have opposed the measure.
There’s been no public polling on Proposition 14, so it’s hard to predict how it will end up. While Proposition 71 passed with 59% approval back in 2004, the new measure is facing a very different environment, proponents have been unable to demonstrate the benefit obtained from the first $2 billion, and the measure is coming to voters during tough times.
If you wish to learn more about Proposition 14 here you can find a quick Summary:
Authorizes $5.5 billion state bonds for: stem cell and other medical research, including training; research facility construction; administrative costs. Dedicates 1.5 billion to brain-related diseases. Appropiates General fund moneys for repayment.
A “yes” vote supports issuing $5.5 billion general obligation bonds for the state’s stem cell research institute and making changes to the institute’s governance structure and programs.
A “no” vote opposes issuing $5.5 billion general obligation bonds for the state’s stem cell research institute, which ran out funds derived from Proposition 71 (2004) for new projects in 2019.
In this link you can find more in depth information about Proposition 14: California Proposition 14, Stem Cell Research Institute Bond Initiative (2020)