| For Immediate Release
October 18, 2004
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Endorses Prop 71
Republican Governor Joins Effort to Fund Stem Cell Research
Stating Initiative Furthers California’s Position as World’s
Global Leader in the Bio-Tech Industry
(Los Angeles, CA) — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has joined a broad, diverse and growing coalition of business groups, elected officials, medical organizations and patient groups in endorsing a YES vote on Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, on the November 2 statewide ballot.
Prop 71 will support stem cell research at California hospitals, medical schools and universities, 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. Scientists believe that stem cell research holds the promise to treat a multitude of diseases that include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, ALS, arthritis and spinal cord injuries. These diseases affect 128 million Americans, including a child or adult in nearly half of all California families.
In a statement released today by the Office of the Governor, Schwarzenegger said, "I am, of course, a supporter of stem cell research. Research that we do now holds the promise of cures for tomorrow. California has always been a pioneer. We daringly led the way for the high-tech industry and now voters can help ensure we lead the way for the bio-tech industry. The creativity and resources are right here in California. We are the world's bio-tech leader and Prop. 71 will help ensure that we maintain that position while saving lives in the process. I encourage Californians to join me in voting for Prop. 71."
“We are extremely pleased Governor Schwarzenegger has decided to endorse Prop 71,” said Robert Klein, state chairman for the Prop 71 campaign. “The Governor’s remarks today and support for the initiative in the final weeks leading up to Election Day confirm what California voters believe about Prop. 71: Beyond its potential to generate life-saving cures and treatments for some of our most debilitating diseases, Prop 71 includes key fiscal provisions that will protect California’s budget and provide an enormous boost to our economy.” “We warmly welcome the Governor into our coalition,” he added.
The Governor joins a bi-partisan coalition of grassroots supporters including Nobel Prize-winning scientists and medical experts, more than 175 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, California Association for Nurse Practitioners, American Diabetes Association, Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California, California Arthritis Foundation Council, ALS Therapy Development Foundation, Parkinson’s Action Network, California Congress of Seniors, Gray Panthers and the National Coalition for Cancer Research.
In addition, a long list of business leaders and organizations are praising Prop 71 for its economic provisions, including the California Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, 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 two fiscal officers, State Controller Steve Westly and State Treasurer Phil Angelides, have both endorsed the measure, citing its fiscal soundness and potential economic benefits. Click here to see a complete list of supporters.
Prop 71 won’t increase or create any taxes. It 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 is also expected to help reduce California’s skyrocketing health care spending costs, which now total more than $110 billion per year. By leading to new cures that reduce our health care costs by only one percent, Prop 71 will pay for itself. And, the potential savings could be far greater possibly reducing our health care costs by tens of billions of dollars in the decades ahead.
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 Prop can be obtained at www.YesOn71.com.