Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Stem Cell Research Bill Passes House

By an 81-53 vote the Stem Cell Research Bill passed the Maryland House.

Starting in 2007, the bill will direct $23 Million per year from the state's portion of the national tobacco settlement toward research using embryonic stem cells. The funding will be restricted to research making use of cells left over from in-vitro fertilization procedures at fertility clinics. The debate on the bill was emotional and strongly fought on the part of opponents, but the resulting vote was a clear victory for the supporters of the bill.

The debate on the bill now moves to the Senate, where the battle is expected to be yet more intense. No similar Senate version has yet cleared the Budget and Taxation Committee. There is also the possibility of a filibuster.

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