New Jersey rejected a $450 million dollar stem cell research bill. The Utah Voucher deal was just stupid. Keep it at low income/lower middle class families and it would have had a better chance from being shot down by the teacher's unions. Oregon don't care about poor kids.
|New Jersey voters rejected the state's plan to borrow $450 million over 10 years to finance stem cell research, one of the most closely watched questions on state ballots Tuesday.|
In other action at the polls, Utah voters were poised to defeat the country's first statewide school voucher program open to all children, not just those from low- or middle-income families. And in Oregon, residents decided against hiking the cigarette tax to pay for health care for kids who don't have it.
With 95 percent of the vote counted, 53 percent of voters opposed the New Jersey measure, one of the nation's most ambitious public efforts to fund the research.
Multimillionaire Gov. Jon Corzine campaigned heavily for the measure and spent $200,000 of his own money on TV ads for it. He argued the funding would help find cures for conditions such as spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease, sickle cell anemia and multiple sclerosis while also luring leading scientists and research firms to the state.
But the measure was opposed by anti-abortion activists, conservatives and the Roman Catholic Church because it would pay for research that destroys human embryos and would increase state debt.
"It's a reinforcement of our values and a rebuke to the governor," said Steve Lonegan, a conservative Republican who led opposition to the question. "The taxpayers are saying enough is enough."
New Jersey already had approved spending $270 million to build stem cell research facilities.
Several states are competing in stem cell research. California approved spending $3 billion on stem cell research, Connecticut has a $100 million program, Illinois spent $10 million and Maryland awarded $15 million in grants.
Senate President Richard J. Codey, a Democrat and leading stem cell supporter, pinned the defeat on chronic state fiscal problems and mounting state debt.
"The taxpayers of New Jersey are not against stem cell research," he said. "It's clear. The message we're getting is put your fiscal house in order and then do these things."