On the heels of a presidential veto of legislation to expand federal funding for stem cell research, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has authorized a loan to accelerate California-based work in the field. Schwarzenegger announced this morning that he has directed the California Department of Finance to issue a loan of up to $150 million from the state’s general fund to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The institute was created by Proposition 71, which voters passed in November 2004. ‘California is poised to lead not only this country, but all countries on stem cell research,” the governor said in a statement. Prop. 71, the stem cell initiative, helps circumvent federal restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. Now that Bush has vetoed federal funding, the state’s role in this field of research could strengthen, said California Institute of Regenerative Medicine president Bob Klein. But litigation has paralyzed the $3 billion in spending Proposition 71 provides. The court challenges by religious and taxpayer groups are expected to be resolved by December, releasing money to repay the new loan. The lawsuits, filed by People’s Advocate, the National Tax Limitation Foundation and the California Family Bioethics Council, were rejected in […]

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