The November general election ballot includes two statewide propositions that address health issues. Proposition 14 asks voters to extend the life of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) with the passage of a $5.5 billion bond and Proposition 23 is a second round in a protracted battle between organized labor and for-profit dialysis centers. For very different reasons, voters should reject both Propositions 14 and 23.
To understand Proposition 14, voters must look back to 2004, when they overwhelmingly passed Proposition 71, a $3 billion bond measure that established the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).
Led by Palo Alto real estate developer Robert KJein, whose son suffered from Type 1 diabetes, the campaign was in response to the George W. Bush administration’s refusal to fund research involving human embryonic stem cells.
Promising research breakthroughs that could cure diseases ranging from diabetes to Huntington’s disease, and bringing rehabilitation to those suffering from traumatic injuries, advocates marshaled wide support, including from California’s celebrity community.
In the years since the measure’s passages, CIRM doled out millions in grants and created an... see more