Worries about losing jobsas well as the spill-over effects that bring taxes to their coffersarent the easiest things for politicians to understand. And a brief look at news accounts from across the country shows just how much of a hot button the issue has become for politicians.
New Jersey Gov. Richard Codey has asked his state legislature to spend $500 million to fund stem cell research in New Jersey. Some members of the states legislature would like the amount to be higher and have proposed $1 billion in funding, possibly through the sale of state-backed bonds.
In Massachusetts, state Senate President Robert Travaglini, a Democrat, has said he wants the state legislature to authorize funding for stem cell research. Massachusetts needs to remain competitive with other states, Travaglini told local newspapers. The measure appears to have some support from Massachusetts Republicans, too.
A similar measure is in the works in Connecticut, where a bipartisan coalition of state lawmakers has proposed spending as much as $100 million on stem cell research.
New Yorks gotten into the act, too. State legislatorsspecifically citing competition from Californiawant to authorize $1 billion in support of stem cell research.
Illinois state controller has suggested a $1 billion bond measure for that state, with funding to come from a tax on cosmetic surgery procedures.
Wisconsins governor announced that his state would spend $750 million to fund stem cell research in that state, although exact details of how the funds will be raised and allocated still must be approved.
Worried about losing out to New Jersey and New York, Delaware Congressman Mike Castle, a Republican, is planning to reintroduce legislation to allow federal funding for stem cell research. That state, the second smallest in the nation, is more limited than others in what it can spend, according to its governor.
Not all of these proposals will be fully funded, and of course there are plenty of other states that may well make their own proposals. But clearly, the tearing down of the dam in California is just starting to flood the biotech industry.
eWEEK.com Technology and Politics columnist Chris Nolan spent years chronicling the excesses of the dot-com era with incisive analysis leavened with a dash of humor. Before that, she covered politics and technology in D.C. You can read her musings on politics and technology every day in her Politics from Left to Right Weblog.
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