A proposal that would contribute $3 billion to stem cell research in California qualified for placement on the state's 2004 general election ballot last week. The California Secretary of State approved the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative for the ballot after supporters submitted over one million signatures in April.

If passed, the initiative would establish the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to regulate and fund in-state stem cell research. It would prohibit funding of human reproductive cloning research.

Larry Goldstein, professor of cellular and molecular medicine at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, said that California researchers are ready for the changes the initiative would bring to the state. "The scientific and biotech community [in California] is poised to take advantage of this funding," he said.

In 2002, California became the first state to pass laws supporting stem cell research after President George Bush...

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