Newsom endorses California’s $5.5 billion stem cell measure

California Gov. Gavin Newsom just before a meeting in Sacramento. ((Photo: Matt Gush, cvia Shutterstock)

Gov. Gavin Newsom, long a supporter of the California stem cell agency, today endorsed Proposition 14, the November ballot measure to give the agency $5.5 billion more and save it from financial extinction.

Known officially as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the agency is running out of the $3 billion voters provided in 2004. It will begin shutting its doors this winter without a major infusion of cash.

Newsom’s endorsement was buried in a news release announcing his stand on a number of ballot measures. It also came on one of the worst days of the week in terms of securing news coverage, not to mention that California news is dominated today by wildfire coverage, among other things.

The news release could not be found on the Internet at the time of this writing. It was forwarded to the California Stem Cell Report by the campaign, which said, “YES on Proposition 14 to continue funding stem cell research, as well as research and therapy development for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative conditions.  As Mayor of San Francisco, Newsom was an outspoken champion of Proposition 71 (2004), which created the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and made California a global leader in the field.”

In 2004, Newsom played a major role in raising a $17 million, successful bid to lure the headquarters of the agency to San Francisco. After its free rent expired a few years ago, CIRM moved to Oakland because of the high cost of space in San Francisco.

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