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Chancellor’s statement regarding Governor’s veto of AB 499

November 4, 2005

“Gov. Jim Doyle’s veto Thursday (Nov. 3) of Assembly Bill 499 was an important step to preserve Wisconsin’s leadership in the burgeoning field of embryonic stem cell research. The bill would have criminalized a promising form of biomedical research. Like the Governor, the University of Wisconsin–Madison strongly opposes the use of cloning technology for reproductive purposes, but this flawed legislation would have closed the door on potentially life-saving therapeutic advances.

Restricting entire approaches to research is harmful because no one can predict with confidence where the next great scientific discovery will come from. Moreover, the perception of hostility to groundbreaking science created by AB 499 would diminish Wisconsin in the eyes of prospective faculty, staff and students, and hurt efforts to develop high-technology industries.

The Governor’s veto is an important step in preserving options for science, industry and citizens seeking treatments for debilitating and often fatal diseases. The university commends Gov. Doyle and the Wisconsin legislators who took this stand in support of advancing human health.”