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Dueling stem cell amendments approved by court

The Florida Supreme Court this morning has given a green light to two rival amendments dealing with stem-cell research. One amendment would ask voters to approve spending $200 million over the next 10 years for embryonic stem cell research. A second amendment would ban the state from spending any money on anything that involves the "destruction of a live human embryo."

The court concluded that the two amendments do not violate the constitution's requirement that the amendment is confined to a single-subject and that the ballot title and summary are clear and understandable. The court's approval does not guarantee placement on the 2008 ballot. Supporters of the two measures need to collect more than 611,000 signatures. So far organizers for embryonic stem cell research have officially collected more than 68,000 signatures, while organizers for the amendment that would ban state spending on embryonic stem cell research have collected more than 86,000 signatures.