Stem Cell Funding Bill Filed
Special Report - May 30, 2008
A bill that would appropriate $16 million of state taxpayer dollars for stem cell research in North Carolina was introduced in the State Senate this week. The bill, SB 1965Funds/Stem Cell Research, sponsored by Sen. Walter Dalton (D-Rutherford), would provide grants of up to $4 million each to East Carolina University, UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University and Wake Forest University. SB 1965 does not specify what kind of stem cell research could be conducted with these funds, leaving the door open for destructive research on human embryos.
“We have asked Senator Dalton to add a provision to SB 1965 that would prohibit these tax dollars from being used to fund destructive embryonic stem cell research,” said John Rustin, vice president and director of government relations for the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “All of the successful treatments and cures in humans derived from stem cells have come from research using adult tissue, cord blood, amniotic fluid and other non-controversial sources. The General Assembly should not only spend the taxpayers’ money where it will be most effectively and wisely utilized, but it should do so in a manner that values and protects human lifeand human embryos are humans at their earliest and most vulnerable stage,” Rustin concluded.
Because SB 1965 was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee, it could be rolled into the budget bill when the Senate puts together their version of the state spending plan in the coming weeks.
Last year, the State House passed HB 1837Stem Cell Research Health & Wellness Act, but the Senate did not act on this bill. Although the original version of HB 1837 would have appropriated $10 million for embryonic stem cell research, the funding portion of the bill was removed before it passed the House. Now, the proposal would provide guidelines for the issuance of grants from the State Health and Wellness Trust Fund to non-profit organizations that would then use the funds to conduct research involving human embryos.
For more information on stem cell research, download our Policy Paper: Hype v. Hope: Real Promise in Adult Stem Cells.
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.