MI State Senate panel approves stem cell legislation


A Republican-led state senate panel has approved a set of bills that aim to tighten restrictions around embryonic stem cell research. Supporters of the bills say there needs to be more regulations in place that ensure ethical practices, especially in clinics outside of research universities.

Senator Tom George chairs the Senate Health Policy Committee. He opposed the ballot proposal allowing embryonic stem cell research. But he says his goal is not to outlaw the research.

"And this is the normal job of the Legislature to create implementation language and to clarify areas that are gray," he says. "The people have spoken, they have adopted a constitutional measure. We understand that - but there are some areas that need to be filled in."

Voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow embryonic stem cell research in 2008.

Opponents of the Senate legislation say it would hinder or prevent progress in biomedical research. None of the Democratic senators voted for the bills.