May 14, 2009
Sen. Steve Ogden won Senate passage of a bill requiring all state agencies to file a public report detailing any research involving human embryonic stem cell research. There was little debate, thanks to an amendment by Sen. Kirk Watson. Watson, who is on record saying he favors a public database of all research (he’s passed a bill calling for a study of how best to gather the information), expanded Ogden’s bill to require agencies to give a full accounting of all money they obtain for the research — including federal and private — and to state the goals of the research. This is critical for the advocates of embryonic stem cell research, since they believe the endeavor will save lives by finding cures for crippling and deadly diseases.
Meanwhile, we are told Ogden is continuing to lobby for his stem cell rider in budget conference committee negotiations. So add stem cells to the list of issues that could blow up before the end of session.