For Immediate Release
September 9, 2004
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein Endorses Proposition 71
U.S. Senator Joins a Broad Bipartisan Coalition Supporting Measure to Fund Stem Cell Research(Los Angeles, CA) — Supporters of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, today announced that United States Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has endorsed the measure, adding to a growing, broad and diverse coalition mobilizing to ensure passage of Prop. 71 on the November 2004 statewide ballot.
Prop 71 would provide funds needed for the development of 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. Scientists believe that stem cell research holds the promise for treating devastating medical conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, spinal cord injuries, and more than 70 other diseases and conditions.
“Proposition 71 will help speed the pace of cures for such devastating diseases as diabetes, Parkinson’s, and cancer as well as provide an economic boost to California’s biotech sector, creating jobs and ensuring that California remains the hub of medical innovation and breakthrough therapies,” said Senator Feinstein. “I am pleased and proud to add my support for Proposition 71.”
Senator Feinstein is the newest member in a growing, bipartisan coalition of some of California’s most prominent elected officials supporting Prop 71. Earlier this week, George Shultz, former Secretary of State and economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan, also announced his support of Prop 71. Shultz, a leading economic expert and fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, praised the measure for its fiscal safeguards and potential to boost California’s economy. Senator Feinstein joins her colleague, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, and more than 100 California elected officials at the federal, state and local levels supporting the initiative. A complete list of Prop. 71 supporters can be obtained from the web site at www.Yeson71.com.
The coalition of grassroots supporters also includes Nobel Prize-winning scientists and medical experts, business leaders and groups, 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, Project ALS, Parkinson’s Action Network, California Congress of Seniors, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, Gray Panthers and the National Coalition for Cancer Research (NCCR).
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, with no cost to the state’s general fund during this period of economic recovery.
Prop 71 has the potential to save the state of California billions of dollars through new tax revenues, royalties, and by reducing 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, the measure will pay for itself.
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 mechanism to fund stem cell research and political roadblocks have severely limited federal funding for some of the most promising types of stem cell research.
More information on Proposition 71 can be obtained at www.YesOn71.com.