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Post Election Media on What’s Next for $12 Billion
California Stem Cell Program
Passage of Proposition
14
has generated a handful of articles recently dealing
with the direction of the California stem cell agency over the next
decade or so, including pieces carried by Bond Buyer and
Calmatters, a respected online news service dealing with
state government and politics.

Barbara Feder Ostrov
wrote a Nov. 24 article for Calmatters,
which quoted
Jonathan Thomas, chair of the California Institute for
Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)
, as saying,

“California has always had a frontier mentality and a
love for the cutting edge, and the work that CIRM has done has put
it on the very forefront of regenerative medicine.â€

Proposition 14 saved CIRM from financial extinction by requiring
the state to borrow an additional $5.5 billion for the 16-year-old
program, which was originally funded with $3 billion in state bonds
in 2004.
Total cost of the program is expected to hit about $12 billion
before the money runs out again in 10 to 15 years.

Ostrov also quoted Paul Knoepfler, a UC Davis stem
cell researcher and blogger, on
new areas of research
for CIRM that are authorized by
Proposition 14. He said,

“Stem cells are interesting and important, but there
are going to be a lot of new therapies in the next 10 years that
are not stem-cell centric.”

In the article, CIRM board member Ysabel Duron addressed the
need for improvement of diversity in terms of developing therapies
for underserved segments of the population. She said,

“We need to keep researchers’ feet to the fire.
They need to show us a plan and we need to reward
them.â€

Ostrov quoted this writer
on some of the issues facing CIRM, including the question of what
happens when the latest $5.5 billion is exhausted:

“The sustainability issue is important and it’s
hard to address.… The money doesn’t last
forever.â€


Bond Buyer’s Keeley Webster‘s a
rticle noted that the
agency will be rewriting its budget now that Proposition 14 has
passed. The measure alters CIRM’s budgeting rules, shifting some
significant costs around. 

Webster quoted state Controller Betty Yee on the agency’s $5
million Covid round from last spring. Yee said,

“The $5 million didn’t buy a lot, but it did help
get information out to underserved communities. And it put a model
out there of how CIRM has been able to accelerate research
projects.â€

In
a piece by Andrew Sheeler,
The Sacramento Bee
quoted Robert Klein, a Palo real estate developer and
sponsor of Proposition 14. Klein poured millions of dollars into
the ballot campaign. He said, 

“We had a big obstacle because we had to communicate
to voters not only the potential to change the nature of treatments
… but we also had to inform voters of how the state could afford
this….It was a citizen’s initiative in the truest
sense.â€

Passage of Proposition
14
has generated a handful of articles recently dealing
with the direction of the California stem cell agency over the next
decade or so, including pieces carried by Bond Buyer and
Calmatters, a respected online news service dealing with
state government and politics.

Barbara Feder Ostrov
wrote a Nov. 24 article for Calmatters,
which quoted
Jonathan Thomas, chair of the California Institute for
Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)
, as saying,

“California has always had a frontier mentality and a
love for the cutting edge, and the work that CIRM has done has put
it on the very forefront of regenerative medicine.â€

Proposition 14 saved CIRM from financial extinction by requiring
the state to borrow an additional $5.5 billion for the 16-year-old
program, which was originally funded with $3 billion in state bonds
in 2004.
Total cost of the program is expected to hit about $12 billion
before the money runs out again in 10 to 15 years.

Ostrov also quoted Paul Knoepfler, a UC Davis stem
cell researcher and blogger, on
new areas of research
for CIRM that are authorized by
Proposition 14. He said,

“Stem cells are interesting and important, but there
are going to be a lot of new therapies in the next 10 years that
are not stem-cell centric.”

In the article, CIRM board member Ysabel Duron addressed the
need for improvement of diversity in terms of developing therapies
for underserved segments of the population. She said,

“We need to keep researchers’ feet to the fire.
They need to show us a plan and we need to reward
them.â€

Ostrov quoted this writer
on some of the issues facing CIRM, including the question of what
happens when the latest $5.5 billion is exhausted:

“The sustainability issue is important and it’s
hard to address.… The money doesn’t last
forever.â€


Bond Buyer’s Keeley Webster‘s a
rticle noted that the
agency will be rewriting its budget now that Proposition 14 has
passed. The measure alters CIRM’s budgeting rules, shifting some
significant costs around. 

Webster quoted state Controller Betty Yee on the agency’s $5
million Covid round from last spring. Yee said,

“The $5 million didn’t buy a lot, but it did help
get information out to underserved communities. And it put a model
out there of how CIRM has been able to accelerate research
projects.â€

In
a piece by Andrew Sheeler,
The Sacramento Bee
quoted Robert Klein, a Palo real estate developer and
sponsor of Proposition 14. Klein poured millions of dollars into
the ballot campaign. He said, 

“We had a big obstacle because we had to communicate
to voters not only the potential to change the nature of treatments
… but we also had to inform voters of how the state could afford
this….It was a citizen’s initiative in the truest
sense.â€

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