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Pera praises new forward-thinking Illinois stem cell law

Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Media contact: Patrick Corcoran (847) 687-7579
For immediate release:

In response to the embryonic stem cell legislation approved last week by the Illinois General Assembly and Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Democrat Mark Pera, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski in Illinois' 3rd U.S. Congressional District, has the following statement for release:

Illinois legislators and Gov. Rod Blagojevich did the right thing last week when they took action in support of stem cell research. In contrast to my opponent, I fully support the expansion of federal funding of stem cell research, including embryonic stem cell research, and I will make my voice heard on this issue in Washington D.C. on behalf of voters in the 3rd district.

The overwhelming bi-partisan support this measure garnered from our General Assembly demonstrates clearly how opponents of stem cell research such as Dan Lipinski and President George Bush are woefully out of step with voters here.

In 2006, voters sent a message that they want our federal government to use its resources to develop potential new, life-saving medical advances. Instead, President George Bush, with Dan Lipinski's support, puts up roadblocks. In fact, Dan Lipinski is one of only 14 Democrats in the House who take this extreme position on such an important issue.

I believe that politicians like Dan Lipinski and President George Bush, who are driven by ideology, should not be allowed to stand in the way of life-saving medical research. Their actions steal away hope from those who know that embryonic stem cell research could offer a cure to millions of Americans living with or have a loved one struggling with intractable disease.

When I am elected to Congress, I'll take a different approach. I want to create and pass legislation to help our nation's best doctors and scientists to develop new technologies that will lead to a happier, healthier way of life for millions of Americans. I'll establish a voting record on stem cell research that voters can look at and be proud, not embarrassed. It's time we put a representative from the 3rd district in Congress who represents the views of Illinoisans on this critical issue.

Some background:
In an effort to attract researchers to Illinois, Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Aug. 28 signed a bill that allows public funding of research on all types of stem cells, including embryonic stem cells.

Supporters hope the legislation will allow the state to support groundbreaking research that could potential cure a number of diseases including Parkinson's disease, many types of cancers as well as spinal cord and muscle injuries.

In June, President Bush vetoed for the second time legislation that would have lifted restrictions on federal funding for stem-cell research. U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski supported the veto.

Although no money is directly tied to the law, legislators say are going to seek to secure millions in funding.

For more information, please read this article from the Chicago Tribune by reporter Monique Garcia:

Governor allows stem cell funding: New law aims to spur medical research
In an effort to woo researchers and investors to Illinois, Gov. Rod Blagojevich Tuesday signed a bill that allows public funding of research on all types of stem cells, including controversial embryonic stem cells.


Supporters hope the legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston) and state Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego), will pave the way for groundbreaking research that has been caught in the middle of a national political debate.

Mark Pera, a long-time Western Springs resident, is an Assistant Cook County State's Attorney. He is running in the Feb. 5 Illinois Democratic Primary against U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski.

For more information, please visit www.PERA08.com.


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