LANSING, MI –
The state House has approved a version of the higher education budget that maintains current spending levels for universities. But as Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, the debate over funding was overshadowed by embryonic stem cell research.
A majority of lawmakers in the House voted in favor of an amendment to the Higher Education budget that would require reports on embryonic stem cell research from research universities. But the amendment was wiped from the final version of the budget in a procedural move. Democratic leaders in the House say they were just giving supporters the chance to vote for the controversial issue.
Republican state Representative Dave Hildenbrand sponsored the amendment.
"I did not know it was going to be taken out," he said. "I was hopeful it was going to be part of the budget."
Hildenbrand hopes the issue of embryonic stem cell research reports will come up again in budget negotiations with the Senate, where a similar amendment was approved.
Those who oppose the measure say it is not the job of the Legislature to try to regulate any voter-approved constitutional amendments.