Thursday, November 08, 2007

New Jersey Voters Defeat Stem Cell Measure

TRENTON, Nov. 6 — In a stunning defeat for Gov. Jon S. Corzine, New Jersey voters on Tuesday rejected a ballot measure that would have permitted the state to borrow $450 million for stem cell research.

The sound defeat, coupled with the failure of another initiative that would have set aside more money for property tax rebates, marked the first time in 17 years that voters in New Jersey had defeated any statewide ballot question.

The ballot questions offered a rare surprise on a day in which Democrats maintained their control over both houses in the State Legislature. As of midnight, Democrats appeared poised to add one seat to their 22-18 majority in the Senate by winning seats in Atlantic City and Cape May Counties that had been in the hands of Republicans. In the Assembly, Republicans appeared to chip one or two seats from the Democrats’ current 50-30 majority.

But it was the defeat of the stem cell measure by a resounding 53-47 percent margin that dealt a sharp blow to Mr. Corzine, who had campaigned heavily for it and had contributed $150,000 to the effort.

Supporters had argued that the borrowing would help pay for research that could help deliver New Jersey from financial distress by bringing additional tax revenue and tens of thousands of jobs to the state. Critics, by contrast, said that New Jersey could not afford to add to the state’s surging debt load of $30 billion.

link to full article

No comments: