Governor Sam Brownback has signed a bill that will establish a stem cell research center at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The new facility would work with adult stem cells and cells taken from umbilical cord blood. Abortion opponents supported the bill, since they are also opposed to the use of embryonic stem cells for research. Brownback signed the bill during a ceremony today (MON) at the Statehouse. He was joined by people who have successfully undergone treatments using stem cells.
The bill does not include funding for the new center, which could cost more than $1 million to establish and around $750,000 per year to operate. One of the main supporters of the bill, Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook, a Republican from Shawnee, says lawmakers will consider funding options when they return to Topeka in May. She says private donations will also help fund the facility. Some critics have questioned if the new center will pull resources from other KU Med programs.