Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Newspaper error as to funding of stem cell research in New Jersey?

Although the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the New Jersey Law Journal suggested that the NJ legislature had authorized funds in December 2005 to support stem cell research, such does not seem to be the case. In the 212th legislative session, both S1091 (bonds for $230 million and an appropriation) and and S1092 (authorizes NJEDA to use cig tax revenue) were introduced in January 2006. There was a nonfinal vote on March 13, 2006.

From the newspapers:

New Jersey officials on Dec. 16, 2005 announced $5
million in grants for stem cell research, including
studies involving human embryonic stem cells. The
awards are said to be the first instance of a state
using public funds for such research.

The grants may appear to be modest compared with those
for other scientific endeavors, but they represent an
important step in New Jersey's effort to establish a
stem cell research industry. With strong competition
already under way from California and Florida,
supporters say, New Jersey cannot afford to fall

''The grants we have awarded today are based on
science, not politics, and have been conceived by some
of the brightest minds and best institutions in our
state,'' Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey said in a
statement. ''This funding will hopefully set the stage
for a new era in medical treatments that will ease the
suffering of millions and ultimately save lives.''

New York Times, B2, December 17, 2005

California's pioneering initiative has caused a
backlash, as some states have enacted bans on publicly
funded embryonic stem cell research. Yet others --
including Connecticut, New Jersey, Texas and Illinois
-- have recently approved small amounts of state
funding for research.

Los Angeles Times, B1, Feb. 27, 2006

**from the Newark Star-Ledger on March 14, 2006:

Yesterday, an Assembly Committee and the full Senate both voted to add a stem cell research facility at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark to the plan.

The Senate version adds $50 million for NJIT to the $200 million already in the bill for a Stem Cell Institute in New Brunswick and a research facility in Camden. But the Assembly version carves out $50 million for the Newark project while keeping the total cost at $200 million. Either way the facilities would be built with money borrowed against future cigarette tax revenues.

Under the Senate bill, sponsored by Senate President Richard Codey, the institute would include:

# The $50 million lab in Newark, where the focus would be on commercial applications and clinical trials of adult stem cells.

# A $150 million facility at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, to be run jointly by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. It would focus on cutting-edge research on stem cells, including embryonic stem cells.

# A $50 million facility at Rutgers-Camden in collaboration with the Coriell Institute for Medical Research and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, focused on stem cells from cord blood, placentas and other human tissue.

"This is an exciting time for the scientific, research and academic communities to be joining together," Sen. Wayne Bryant (D-Camden) said. "Very good things will happen by attracting the greatest research minds in the nation."

The measure (S1741) was amended yesterday afternoon on a 24-13 vote, largely along party lines with most of the 18 Senate Republicans opposed. Parliamentary procedure dictated that a vote on the amended bill be postponed until Monday's Senate session.


Post a Comment

<< Home