The New York State legislature completed its budget yesterday, including a $600 million appropriation to fund stem cell research. For 2007, the state will provide the first $100 million, and the remainder of the money will come out of the Health Insurance Plan (HIP) of New York, with a $50-million-a-year cap not exceeding $500 million. However, it is unclear when the HIP funds will become available. As reported in The Scientist, a few linkurl:versions; of the budget were proposed by each of the three branches of the legislature -- the State Senate, Assembly, and Governor's office. Governor Eliot Spitzer announced his plan to fund stem cell and other biomedical research in January. The agreed-upon budget sets a broad definition for stem cells -- adopted primarily from the State Assembly's version of the budget -- as "stem or progenitor cells that divide and are capable of generating one or more different...

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