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Crist caves on stem cell research

During his campaign for governor, Charlie Crist made news when he said he disagreed with President Bush's decision to veto federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research. Many scientists believe the research may find cures for Parkinson's, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.

But at a seminar sponsored by the Associated Press today, Crist said he would recommend $20 million for research on existing stem cell lines, not on new ones cultivated from human embryos. He made it clear that he had received strong signals that the Republican-led Legislature, particularly the more conservative House, would not accept anything else.

"I'm pragmatic,'' he said. "I want to be respectful of concerns that (lawmakers) might have, but I also want to make progress."

Crist's decision flies in the face of polls that show that most Floridians support embryonic stem cell research. Crist will officially announce his stem cell plans later today at the University of South Florida's Center for Aging and Brain Repair in Tampa.

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Does anyone have the poll numbers refered to here?

Michael Hussey

How the times quickly change. Just this past January, Crist was backing Franklin Sands' bill. The bill would provide state funding for research on stem cells harvested from embryos.


"I think it's important, and we talked about it during the campaign, because of the promise it has for maybe the curing . . . of many diseases and maladies that exist for a lot of our citizens," Crist said.

The bill (HB 555), filed by Rep. Franklin Sands, D-Weston, would require the state to spend at least $20 million a year for 10 years on grants to researchers doing studies using several types of stem cells, including adult stem cells, amniotic stem cells and embryonic stem cells, the most controversial type.


Ashley

The Sheriff is not being attacked by his own party for rueeqsting the deputies. The sheriff is being asked and has been asked several times to review his spending policies and come up with some real-world cost-cutting measures to implement on top of any budget increase. He refuses to consider that maybe .just maybe he has wasted dollars in his budget.White compares his budget with those of other counties. Pinellas is a good example .he can't compare with them as they have more wasted tax dollars than almost any law enforcement department in the area. The $240K armored car is a monument to the waste in Pinellas.What I believe the commissioners should do is review White's budget, line by line. Then and only then can they make a decision based on sound fiscal planning. However, since White controls his own budget and the county commission merely appropriates funds, the commissioners won't do a line-item exam.White needs more deputies in West Pasco. As the population has changed from retirees to middle-class young families, crime has increased in this area. The department needs mor deputies in response to this. However, when White can afford to hire political cronies' friends, that being friends of Fassano and Collins, he certainly will be held up to scrutiny when he requests more funds for more people. Open your books, Bob WHite. Let's go line by line and see where we can cut fat. When we complete that exercise, I will support whatever increase you need for more deputies. As to the unions, I agree with White tell them to go pound sand.

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