In 2004, Voters approved Proposition 71 by nearly 60 percent establishing a $3 billion bond to fund the science of stem cell therapy. As a result, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, or CIRM, was created to manage the funds and find solutions to the world’s cruelest diseases. Supporters of the Initiative, among other things, promised stem cell treatments for nearly half of all Californians.
Fourteen years hence, the money voters approved is nearly gone. Supporters of CIRM still believe in the effort. And They are asking for another $5 billion, arguing if the bond isn’t approved in 2020, it could devastate stem cell research in the Golden State.
Erin Allday, health reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, who writes about infectious diseases, stem cells, neuroscience and consumer health topics; she co-wrote the investigation piece on stem cell funding for the SF Chronicle newspaper;
Maria Millan, M.D., president and CEO of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)
Marcy Darnovsky, Executive Director of the Center for Genetics and Society.