As California’s stem cell research agency runs through the last of its $3 billion in state funding, a delicate negotiation is underway between its leadership and the man developing the 2020 ballot initiative to keep it alive.
Robert Klein, the real estate investment banker behind the 2004 ballot initiative that created the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) in Oakland, last month submitted a new proposal to the California attorney general’s office that would allocate another $5.5 billion in proceeds from state bond sales to the agency. At a meeting today of CIRM’s board, Klein, who heads the advocacy group Americans for Cures in Palo Alto, California, explained and defended aspects of the new proposal that have drawn some criticism.
“Most of us are individually very supportive of this upcoming initiative,” George Blumenthal, chancellor of the University of California (UC), Santa Cruz, said at the meeting. “We don’t want to make the perfect the enemy of the good.”