Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Technology Bills Held Up By Stem Cell Issue

The bioscience economic development bills got held up at the Virginia General Assembly yesterday on the issue of human embryonic stem cell research. SB 1338, Senator Herring's bill that had passed committee review unanimously, was pulled from the uncontested bloc of bills by Senator Ken Cuccinelli of Fairfax. Representatives of the bioscience industry met with him to discuss his plans to propose a floor amendment to the bill this week.

Later yesterday afternoon, Delegate Sickles' bill, HB 2444, came up before the House Committee on Science and Technology. The same issue was raised, this time from Delegate Robert Marshall of Prince William County.

These bills, as well as Delegate O'Bannon's HB 2455, will be held up while some compromise language can be worked out by both sides. We certainly hope that these economic development bills will not become the "stem cell" brochure bills for the coming election and all sides can come up with a positive solution to the impasse.

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