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Letters to the Editor
Lincoln Daily News
601 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL  62656

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Opposed to Illinois supporting stem cell research          Send a link to a friend

Dear Editor:

When Republicans voiced their disapproval of the governor's stealth funding of stem cell research last year, we were voicing our dissent for the process, as well as the issue. This is not a matter of the governor pulling a fast one on senators -- he also pulled a fast one on the Illinois citizens we are elected to represent, many of whom do not support state funding for embryonic stem cell research.

It is important to note that not one Republican in the Senate or the House of Representatives voted for the budget, because it overspends, raids pensions and defers bills for future generations.

As to the process -- the governor's decision was done in secret with no public hearings. Previous public attempts to pass funding for stem cell research were overwhelmingly rejected by lawmakers. But just a few months later, the governor went around elected lawmakers and used a vaguely worded appropriations line to set up a stem cell research program. Such actions were sneaky, and it was wrong to not let lawmakers know what was in the budget. And believe me, we asked questions, but were not given all the facts.

[to top of second column in this letter]

Despite the fact that legislators had only a few hours to look over the 829-page budget before debate began, we asked questions. Despite the fact that each senator was limited to two minutes of discussion, and despite the fact that the total debate for the $56.9 billion budget was less than 57 minutes, we asked for explanations. The fact is we were not given specific answers, being told instead that the lump sums were discretionary spending.

As to the issue -- the governor should not be using tax dollars for something that many people have a strong moral objection to, such as embryonic stem cell research. I do in fact support adult stem cell research, and if the governor wants to use taxpayer dollars for research, it would be best to fund adult stem cell research, which has resulted in successful treatments for 65 diseases or health conditions, while embryonic stem cell research has resulted in successful treatments for none!

Lawmakers represent the people. Bypassing members of the Senate and House is essentially bypassing the people.


Bill Brady
State Senate, 44th District

(Posted March 31, 2006)

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