The Business Perspective (LA Chamber of Commerce)
10/12/04

Prop 71: A Shot in the Arm for California

By supporting Prop. 71, California's voters will have a unique opportunity on Nov. 2. Not only can we give a needed shot in the arm to research that will cure some of the world's most lethal and debilitating illnesses; we can also create jobs and position California as a leader in a new industry. But we will only do so if we can overcome the emotional and ill-informed arguments of those who would try to compare stem cell research with abortion or human cloning.

Prop. 71 establishes the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to regulate and fund stem cell research solely in the State of California. Importantly, and something that you will hear little about, is that it explicitly prohibits the funding of human reproductive cloning research.

It does not have any impact on abortion policy. It does not facilitate human cloning. It does fund needed research that holds the promise to develop treatment and cures for a multitude of diseases affecting tens of millions of Americans and Californians, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, ALS and spinal cord injuries.

Prop. 71 will also position California clearly at the head of the pack in the nascent biotechnology industry-a rapidly emerging new economy that will create excellent high paying jobs; first in research, and later in manufacturing, sales, distribution, and related disciplines.

It's an opportunity that our regional economy literally can not afford to pass up. The $3 billion bond that will be sold to finance this much-needed research will generate direct income and sales tax revenues of at least $240 million from the initiative's spending on research and research facilities. Additional income and sales revenues of $2.2 to $4.4 billion in private investments and research activity in the California biotechnology industry will make California a world leader in stem cell research. The advancements will save the state an estimated $3.4 to $6.9 billion in direct health care costs, and an additional $9.2 to $18.4 billion in health care cost savings for California businesses, citizens and other payers of health care costs. State royalty revenues resulting from the Prop. 71 provisions, ranging from $537 million to $1.1 billion, will give the state an opportunity to share the wealth from research funded by the initiative. In short, the initiative will provide a return on investment of at least 120 percent to 236 percent!

For these reasons the business community around the state has joined hands with the medical community to support this initiative.

As a person who is fighting leukemia and leukemia-induced diabetes, I--and thousands of others--hope that California's entry will generate the interest of other states and institutions and give a true shot in the arm to developing the technologies and cures that will make these diseases just bad memories.

Vote Yes on Prop. 71.

And that’s the Business Perspective.


Paid for by YES on 71: Coalition for Stem Cell Research and Cures, #1260661
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