For Immediate Release
September 7, 2004
Former Secretary Of State George Shultz Endorses Proposition 71
Reagan Advisor and Preeminent Economist Joins Effort to Fund Stem Cell Research
(Los Angeles, CA) — George Shultz, Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan, has joined with a broad and growing coalition of business groups, medical organizations and patient groups in endorsing a YES vote on Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, on the November 2004 statewide ballot.
Prop 71 will support stem cell research at California hospitals, medical schools and universities. The hope is to develop lifesaving therapies and cures for diseases that could save the lives of millions of California children and adults, reduce state health care costs and provide a boost to regional economies and the state at large.
“Beyond its potential to generate life-saving cures and treatments for some of our most debilitating diseases, Prop 71 includes key fiscal and governance provisions that will protect California’s budget and ensure that the funds are administered in a careful and responsible way,” said Shultz. “Prop 71 is carefully designed and includes a unique mechanism to provide royalty revenues back to the state from patents that are developed from the research.”
Currently the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Shultz is one of California’s and the nation’s preeminent economists and an expert in global political and economic policy. Prior to his appointment as U.S. secretary of state, Shultz was chairman of President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board. Shultz held other high-level posts during the 1970s, including Secretary of Labor, Secretary of the Treasury and Director of the Office of Management and Budget. He has received, among other distinctions, the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor (1989), the Seoul Peace Prize (1992), the Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service (2001), and the Reagan Distinguished American Award (2002).
Shultz is the newest member in a coalition of business leaders and organizations praising Prop 71 for its economic provisions and potential, including the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, Valley Industry and Commerce Association, Los Angeles Business Council, Orange County Business Council, United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley, Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, California Healthcare Institute, BIOCOMM and the Latin Business Association. Additionally, the state’s top fiscal officers, State Controller Steve Westly and State Treasurer Phil Angelides, have both endorsed the measure, citing its fiscal soundness and potential economic benefits.
Prop 71 authorizes tax-free state bonds that will provide an average of $295 million per year over ten years to support stem cell research at California’s universities, medical schools and research facilities. These bonds will be self-financing during the first five years, so there’s no cost to the state’s general fund during this period of economic recovery.
Prop 71 has the potential to help reduce California’s skyrocketing health care spending costs, which now total more than $110 billion per year. If the research funded by Prop 71 leads to new cures that reduce our health care costs by only one percent, Prop 71 will pay for itself and potentially more than pay for itself.
Shultz also joins a broad and diverse coalition of grassroots supporters including Nobel Prize-winning scientists and medical experts, state and local elected officials, faith-based organizations, families involved in patient advocacy and efforts to cure diseases, and organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association California Council, California Medical Association, American Nurses Association of California, American Diabetes Association, Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California, ALS Therapy Development Foundation, Parkinson’s Action Network, California Congress of Seniors, Gray Panthers and the National Coalition for Cancer Research. A complete list of endorsing organizations can be found on the campaign’s website, www.YesOn71.com.
Proposition 71 was developed by a coalition of California families and medical experts determined to close the stem cell research funding gap. Currently, our state has no effective and dependable mechanism to fund stem cell research on the scale required, and increased federal funding is needed for some of the most promising types of stem cell research.
A complete biography for Mr. Shultz can be obtained at: http://www.hoover.stanford.edu/bios/shultz.html
More information on Proposition 71 can be obtained at www.YesOn71.com.