New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) on Wednesday signed into law a bill (S 1471) that will allow the state to borrow $270 million for the expansion of human embryonic stem cell research and facilities in the state, the New York Times reports (Jones, New York Times, 12/20). The measure -- which was approved earlier this month by state lawmakers and sponsored by Senate President Richard Codey (D) -- provides $50 million for a stem cell research center in Camden, $50 million for an adult stem cell research center in Newark and $150 million for a research facility in New Brunswick. The legislation also allocates $10 million to the Garden State Cancer Center in Belleville and $10 million to the Elie Katz Umbilical Cord Blood Program in Allendale (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 12/18). "This really puts New Jersey on the cutting-edge," Corzine said Wednesday, adding that additional funding is necessary because "[w]e don't want to just be part of the crowd. We want to lead the crowd" (Hester, AP/Long Island Newsday, 12/20). In addition, Corzine said that he supports a referendum that would ask voters to approve an additional $230 million for stem cell research grants (New York Times, 12/20). Officials, including Corzine, aim to put the referendum on the ballot by November 2007 (Fasbach, Herald News, 12/21).

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