Tuesday, May 10, 2005

$3 billion reasons to move your stem cell research and business to Northern California

Stem-cell finance board authorizes $3 billion bond sale

The California Stem Cell Research and Cures Finance Committee on Monday authorized the sale of $3 billion in bonds to pay for research.

The group, led by Phil Angelides, the state treasurer, approved the sale of bonds authorized in Proposition 71, which California voters passed in November.

Angelides and Bill Lockyer, the state's attorney general, held a news conference after the committee meeting in Sacramento, where they vowed to fight legal challenges to the stem-cell bonds.

Sale of the bonds cannot begin until lawsuits filed by anti-abortion groups are resolved in court. "The legal claims raised by the opponents have no merit and appear designed only to delay the inevitable," Lockyer said.

On Friday, the oversight committee of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, as the stem cell organization created by Prop. 71 is known, decided to put the institute's headquarters in San Francisco. Sacramento, which had been the No. 2 contender for the headquarters in early evaluations was eliminated on a first ballot before the committee awarded the site to San Francisco over San Diego.

Officials of the institute on Friday unveiled a plan to keep it running through private loans or contributions until the legal issues over the bonds can be resolved.

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