BILL NUMBER: SB 471 INTRODUCED
INTRODUCED BY Senators Romero and Steinberg
FEBRUARY 26, 2009
An act relating to education.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
SB 471, as introduced, Romero. Education: stem cell research.
The California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act, an initiative
measure approved by the voters at the November 2, 2004, general
election (Proposition 71), establishes the California Institute for
Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the purpose of which is, among other
things, to make grants and loans for stem cell research, for research
facilities, and for other vital research opportunities to realize
therapies, protocols, and medical procedures that will result in the
cure for, or substantial mitigation of, diseases and injuries.
Existing law establishes the public school system in this state,
and, among other things, provides for the establishment of school
districts throughout the state and for the provision of instruction
at the public elementary and secondary schools that these districts
operate and maintain. Existing law establishes various segments of
the higher education system in this state that comprise the public
postsecondary education system.
This bill would state findings and declarations of the Legislature
relating to stem cell research and science, including the
development of the California Stem Cell Education Initiative by the
CIRM to educate California pupils about stem cell science and
regenerative medicine, and to create pathways for careers in the stem
cell industry. The bill would state the Legislature's findings and
declarations that all education policymakers, including the State
Department of Education, the Superintendent of Public Instruction,
the State Board of Education, and all other institutions of public
education, including postsecondary schools, should collaborate to
help CIRM advance its education initiatives, as specified.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no.
State-mandated local program: no.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the
(a) If California is to retain its premier position in stem cell
research and fully realize the medical and economic benefits of
regenerative medicine, a stronger link is needed between California
public schools and this emerging industry.
(b) At the November 2004 statewide general election, California
voters approved Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and
Cures Initiative, which authorizes $3 billion in state bond funding
for stem cell research at California universities and research
institutions and added Article XXXV to the California Constitution
and Sections 125290.10 et seq. to the Health and Safety Code.
(c) Proposition 71 established a new state agency, the California
Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), to make grants and
provide loans for stem cell research and research facilities.
(d) The ballot pamphlet information and finding's and declarations
of Proposition 71 described how stem cell research will lead to the
development of life-saving regenerative treatments and cures for a
variety of incurable diseases, including cancer, diabetes, heart
disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord
injuries, multiple sclerosis, and Huntington's disease; and also
benefit the California economy by creating projects, jobs, and
therapies that will generate millions of dollars in new tax revenues
in our state and advance the biotech industry in California to world
leadership as an economic engine for California's future.
(e) The public funding of stem cell research, combined with
significant private donations, has made California the national
leader in stem cell research.
(f) After President Bush limited federal funding for embryonic
stem cell research in 2001, most states eliminated or significantly
reduced stem cell research.
(g) President Obama is expected to lift the ban on federal funding
for stem cell research, which will lead other states to move quickly
to try to catch up to California.
(h) Several recent reports have predicted that California will
soon face a dramatic shortage of trained professionals to fill jobs
in the life sciences sector and a more widespread shortage of
college-educated and technically trained workers to meet industry
(i) California's growing gap between supply and demand for
college-educated and technically trained workers is exacerbated by an
alarmingly high school dropout rate.
(j) Education must be the cornerstone of California's economic
development strategy, and education that is closely linked to the
needs of emerging industries is critical.
(k) CIRM, in recognition that the rapid progress in stem cell
research in California will lead to the development of treatments and
cures, to the growth of regenerative medicine and the stem cell
industry, and will require an expanding pool of individuals with
specialized training and skills, has tentatively made Bridges to Stem
Cell Research grants to fund research and training activities for
post-secondary students interested in careers in regenerative
(l) CIRM also is developing a "California Stem Cell Education
Initiative" aimed at high schools with the goal of broadly educating
California pupils about stem cell science and regenerative medicine
and creating pathways for careers in the stem cell industry.
(m) In order to ensure that all California pupils have an
opportunity for a career in the stem cell industry and to ensure that
California fully realizes the medical and economic benefits of
regenerative medicine, all education policymakers, including the
State Department of Education, the Superintendent of Public
Instruction, the Secretary for Education, and the State Board of
Education, including the board's curriculum advisory commission, and
all institutions of public education, including postsecondary
schools, California Community Colleges, California State University,
and the University of California, should collaborate to help CIRM
advance its education initiatives, which may include, but not be
limited to, all of the following:
(1) Developing and implementing a curriculum that includes stem
(2) Developing and implementing pilot projects related to
curriculum and teacher professional development.
(3) Providing high school pupils with laboratory research
(4) Conducting outreach programs between high schools and
institutions of higher education.
(5) Developing programs in magnet or charter schools with a
math-science focus and in partnership academies.
(6) Developing distance learning opportunities using the K-12 High