Governor Surprises with Stem Cell Funds

By Patterson, John | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), July 13, 2005 | Go to article overview

Governor Surprises with Stem Cell Funds


Patterson, John, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: John Patterson Daily Herald State Government Editor

SPRINGFIELD - Tucked away in the state's new multibillion-dollar budget is $10 million for medical research that Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Tuesday announced will finance stem cell programs.

The news caught many supporters and opponents of stem cell research by surprise. There was no debate on the issue when the state budget was approved in May.

In fact, the more than 800-page state budget contains no specific reference to stem cell research. Rather, there's $10 million for "scientific" research. Democratic leaders in closed- door budget talks near the end of the spring session agreed to put the money in the budget but apparently few others were told.

"That's interesting," said Waukegan state Sen. Terry Link, a member of the Senate Democrat leadership team.

Link said he was unaware of the funding, although he supports the cause.

Robert Gilligan, executive director of the Illinois Catholic Conference, called the move "shameful."

"I think all Illinoisans should be concerned about the legislative process," he said. …

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