Steve Ogden may have lost support of Senate Democrats for SB 1 with his surprise rider prohibiting state funds to be used in stem cell research, or as the rider states: "in conjunction with or to support research that involves the destruction of a human embryo."
The rider was added Monday with little debate, on a 6-5 vote, with several members absent from the committee.
I seem to recall Rep. Myra Crownover complaining about a vote being taken on the unemployment insurance stimulus funds while a couple members of that committee were not present because they didn't know a vote was going to take place. If that was wrong, then so is this. Actually, given the subject matter, it's wrong regardless. Surely this deserved a real debate, and an up-or-down vote, instead of being snuck into the budget. It's not a matter of principle - I've no doubt Sen. Ogden is sincerely acting on his - but one of procedure and policy. Matters of policy should be debated. As Sen. Kirk Watson said in his statement opposing this action, it's not clear whether the committee intended to implement such a sweeping ban. The only way to know for sure is to talk about it and let anyone who has questions ask them.
UPDATE: BOR has more.Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 25, 2009 to Budget ballyhoo